Wien, Auer, -1855. Folio (34.4 x 25.6 cm). Three printed plates with original albumen prints, mounted.
The very rare and sought-after photo plates from Alois Auer's Faust, published as Beilage to this seminal work on printing techniques including "Naturselbstdruck" or nature printing. Auer (1813-1869) is best known for re-inventing nature printing and reviving the use of it. He was also an early propagator of photography. The first photo measures 26.3 x 18.7 cm and shows the Viennese St. Stephens Cathedral (Stephansdom) seen from a rooftop near Singerstrasse in 1853. The second (24.5 x 19.0 cm) is also an example of microtype photography, showing a small caterpillar at a magnification of 3000x; the third is in fact a set of three photos, each 18 cm wide and between 8.0 and 9.5 cm high, showing the wings of three different species of the fruit fly genus Trypeta, demonstrating the great usefulness of macrophotography. Photos somewhat faded, as usual; mounts slightly soiled at edges, and slightly chipped and frayed at left edge. Fischer, 200 Jahre Naturselbstdruck, 41; Heitman, 403; Kirchner, 11246.