24 November 2009
FRISCH, Johann Leonhard (1666-1743). Vorstellung der Vögel Deutschlandes und beyläufig auch einiger Fremden; nach ihren Eigenschaften beschrieben. Berlin: Friedrich Wilhelm Birnstiel for the author, -1763.
15 parts in one volume, 2° (370 x 236mm). General title and 25 part- and section-titles. Engraved portrait, woodcut head- and tailpieces. 255 hand-coloured engraved plates. (Light spotting and browning mainly to text, one leaf of index heavily browned, very short marginal tear to pl. 140 without loss.) Contemporary half blue cloth over drab boards, matching blue cloth lettering piece (front hinge splitting, extremities worn, lettering piece peeling away from spine, head- and tailcaps worn, covers scuffed with a little light staining). Provenance: Von Daum (early 19th-century stamp to title).
FIRST EDITION OF THIS 'RARE CLASSIC' (Wood). The work was published in 14 parts, with a supplement, over a period of thirty years. 252 of the plates illustrate birds; plates 102-104 show two different types of bat. The birds are divided into twelve classes, and the plates are accompanied by brief descriptions. Frisch led a chequered life before establishing himself in Berlin and, on Leibnitz's recommendation, becoming a member of the Society of Sciences in 1706. Frisch himself failed to see the end of his publishing project, and it was left to his sons to complete it. 'ONE OF THE MOST ENJOYABLE OF ALL BIRD BOOKS BUT RARE' (Fine Bird Books 1990). Anker 155; Fine Bird Books 1990, 97; Nissen IVB 339; Wood 349 (calling for 253 plates only); Zimmer 233 (later edition).
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Please note that the front free endpaper, portrait frontispiece and general title have come loose.
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