Entomographie de la Russie. Tome V. Lepidoptères de la Russie. I. Nymphalides.
Item ID 68729
Moscow, Société Imperiale des Naturalistes, 1851. 4to (30.5 x 24.2 cm). Half title, title page, dedication page; ii, 151 pp.; 16 finely engraved plates, all hand-coloured and occasionally heightened with Gum Arabic. Original printed wrappers. A very rare and beautiful work by Johann Gotthelf Fischer de Waldheim (1771-1853), who studied medicine in Leipzig, then travelled to Paris with his friend Alexander von Humboldt where he studied under Cuvier. In 1804 he became professor of natural history at Moscow University. One year later he founded the famous "Société Impériale des Naturalistes de Moscou". Fischer's main interests were palaeontology and entomology. His entomological interest culminated in his five-volume overview of insects from the Russian empire: Entomographia Imperii Rossici . It is one of the rarest, best-illustrated and most sought-after works on Russian insects. This rare, late section was jointly written with the German entomologist Eduard von Eversmann (1794-1860) who, at the time, was professor of zoology in Kasan. It deals with colourful Macrolepidoptera ( Argynnis, Melitaea, Vanessa, Limenitis , etc.). Handwritten, signed dedication by De Waldheim in the front wrapper top margin. Text uncut. Some toning to a few text leaves, slight bump to lower inner corner. The plates are stunningly coloured and absolutely clean. A very good copy. Hagen I, p. 235; Horn-Schenkling, 6146, 6632; Junk Rara, 78; Nissen ZBI, 1377. Final part of the most beautiful work on Russian entomology and one of the greatest rarities in entomology