ROESEL VON ROSENHOF, August Johann (1705-1759) and Christian Friedrich KLEEMAN (1735-1789). De Natuurlyke Historie der Insecten. Translated from German into Dutch. Haarlem & Amsterdam: C.H. Bohn & H. de Wit (first volume), H. Gartman (succeeding), [n.d. but ?1765-1788].
5 volumes in 9, 4o (each approximately 278 x 220 mm), including supplement. 3 hand-colored engraved frontispieces and 384 hand-colored plates by Roesel on 314 leaves (lacks portrait of Roesel). First 8 volumes bound in contemporary red half roan gilt, the last in red quarter roan, smooth spine, silk ties, text and plates laid loose as issued, uncut (spines repaired at ends, a few other minor repairs along hinges, gilt faded, leather slightly dry and occasionally cracking).
FIRST DUTCH EDITION OF "ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GERMAN WORKS ON INSECTS OF THE PERIOD" (Landwehr)
Roesel was born into a family of engravers in Arnstadt, Germany. He encountered a naturalist in Hamburg who showed him a copy of Maria Sybilla Merian's work on insects. This work inspired a fascination with the subject, ultimately leading him to produce a similarly elaborate study of insects. A perfectionist desiring a product of the highest caliber, Roesel learned how to polish magnifying glasses from Professor Doppelmaier and eventually built a microscope to aid in his research.
Roesel began publishing his Monatliche Insekten in 1740 and continued to issue monthly installments until his death. His son-in-law, Christian Friedrich Kleeman, and his daughter continued publication by supplying his plates to the Dutch publishers Bohn and de Wit. The plates were imported from Germany, each meticulously colored by Kleeman and his wife Katharina Barbara Roesel von Rosenhof.
Although the publication dates are obscure, the Privilegie is dated 27 June 1765 and it appears that by this date printing had begun. By 1773 Gartman had replaced de Wit as co-publisher with the intention of offering the work in issues of 4, 6 or 8 plates every two months. The work was completed sometime between 1788 and 1794. This copy includes the unfinished fifth volume supplement with 26 plates by Kleeman in Landwehr's third state (without title-page and with text on page 192 ending abruptly). A FINE UNCUT COPY IN A CONTEMPORARY BINDING.
Landwehr 161; Nissen ZBI 3467. (9)