Die Entdeckung des Naturselbstdruckes oder die Erfindung ganzen Herbarien, Stoffen, Spitzen, Stickereien und überhaupt allen Originalien und Copien... als auch mit natürlichen Farben auf weissem Papiere Abdrücke, dem Originale identisch gleich, gewinnen kann,.. bedarf. Vorgelesen in der mathem. naturw. Classe der kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Wien. (Privilegirt am 12. October 1852, Z. 7698).
Item ID 67547
Wien, K.K. Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1854. 4to (33.0 x 25.8 cm). 75 pp. of text in double column in four languages; German, English, Italian and French. With 15 (of 19) nature printed plates and four lithographed facsimile letters at the end. Later blind black morocco over green cloth boards. First edition of Auer's most famous publication. Alois Auer (1813-1869), born in Wels, Austria, was the director of the Kaiserlich-Königlichen Hof und Staatsdruckerei (the Austrian State Printing House). In this publication he describes his "discovery" of nature printing, which he illustrates with some fine coloured examples. He uses dried plants, mosses, lace, snake skin, bat wing, minerals, fossils, etc to show off this "new" method of printing, which he believes at the time will change the history of printing once and for all. In reality nature-printing was invented at least 100 years earlier. He may have shed new light on the entire process and used it in different and innovative ways, but he does not talk about the true inventors in his texts, reffering only and frequently to his invention and the protection of the rights. He did however, by publishing this work in 4 languages, bring it to the general public, and others such as Constantin von Ettingshausen and Alois Pokorny would use his techniques in the years to come. "Auer's method can only be used with objects with tolerably flat surfaces, such as dried and pressed plants, embroidery and lace, and a very few animal productions. The object is placed between a plate of steel and another of lead, both of which are smooth, and polished. They are then drawn through a pair of rollers under considerable pressure. When the plates are separated, it is found that a perfect impression of the object has been made in the leaden plate. This may be used directly as an engraved plate, but only if a very few impressions are wanted, for it is too soft to resist the action of printing presses for practical purposes" [Wikipedia]. Marginal light water stains and some foxing in places, but this is often the case with this book. Poggendorf III, 49; Kirchner 11246; Fischer, 200 Jahre Naturselbstdruck, 39. Rare first edition of Auer's most famous publication