Nürnberg, Raspe, 1791. Original, hand-coloured engraved plate (28.0 x 21.0 cm).
From the magnum opus of Eugenius Johann Christoph Esper (1742-1810), professor at the Königlich Preussischen Friedrichs-Alexanders Universität zu Erlangen. This plate was published as part of a grand work on corals and sponges. It is by far the most important work that he wrote on his own. Using the Linnaean system he described and illustrated an immense number of corals and sponges. Many still bear the names introduced by him. The present plate shows a gorgonian, or soft coral (also known as a sea fan) from the tropics. Neat, small annotation (page and volume reference) in an old hand, otherwise a fine, clean copy. Cat. BM(NH) p. 542; Nissen ZBI, 1315.