Gravenhorst, J. L. C. [C.]
Reptilia Musei zoologici Vratislaviensis. Recensita et descripta. Fasciculus primus. Continens Chelonios et Batrachia. [OR] Deliciae Musei zoologici Vratislaviensis. Fasciculus primus. Continens Chelonios et Batrachia.
Lipsiae [Leipzig], Leopold Voss, 1829. Folio (40.0 x 25.1 cm). Half title, double title page, 106 pp. including dedication page and second half title; 17 finely engraved plates of which 13 delicately hand-coloured. Contemporary style quarter calf over marbled boards. Spine with five raised, gilt-ornamented bands; compartments with intricate gilt-rolled bands and gilt title. Marbled endpapers. Original printed label mounted before half title.
A very rare work by the German herpetologist and entomologist Johann Ludwig Christian Carl Gravenhorst (1777-1857). We found only one auction record in this and the previous century. The work was published under two different titles, both present here. The alternate title, " Deliciae..." suggests that it was to be part of a larger series. This, however, is all that has been published. Nevertheless, it contains a wealth of information, including the descriptions and illustrations of many new and lesser-known species of amphibians (frogs, toads, salamanders) and turtles from Gravenhorst's private collection, which he donated to the Museum of the University of Breslau (now Wrocław), of which he became the director. The illustrations and descriptions are very detailed. The species dealt with are from various parts of the world; according to Vanzolini, three South American turtles, including at least one new species, are included. Plates I-III and V are not coloured, as always. Uncut. With the widest possible margins (i.e., text slightly larger than plates). Small, skilful paper repair and some light soiling to the last text leaf lower margin; otherwise, a carefully bound, unusually clean and unmarked copy. Adler I, p. 28; Nissen ZBI, 1682; Vanzolini I, p. 43.