Heilbronn, Franciscus Josephus Eckebrecht, 1757. Folio (37.7 x 22.6 cm). 55, [iii] pp.; 12 engraved plates. Contemporary paper-covered boards. Short title in script on spine.
The complete part on snakes and "dragons" of John Jonston's famous "Historiae naturalis". This part, with fine illustrations of real snakes, as well as both a charming and bewildering variety of little dragons has always been one of the most popular parts. Perhaps that is why the German printer and publisher Frank Joseph Eckebrecht fully reprinted this work in 1758. Nine years later he also reprinted Jonston's book on fishes. 1758, of course is the year in which Linnaeus saw the tenth edition of his Systema Naturae published, a point in time when the existence of real dragons was much in doubt among serious zoologists. This may be the reason for Eckebrecht to shorten the title from the original Historiae naturalis de serpentibus et draconibus. Linnaeus, however, based some of his new species on Jonston's descriptions and illustrations. Today, this edition, which was printed on much better, thicker paper, is much rarer than the earlier Frankfurt and Amsterdam thin paper editions, and not recorded in the major bibliographies. Slight staining and wear to the boards; spine ends slightly abraded; title page with very slight foxing and a faint damp stain in the lower margin; two plates rather toned. Plate 8 bound after plate 9, otherwise the binder's instructions are followed. Otherwise a very good, clean copy. This edition is quite rare, certainly in such a pure, uncut state. Adler II, p. 15; Nissen ZBI, 2135 (Amsterdam and Frankfurt editions); Wood, p. 409 (another edition). This edition not in the Crane library.