Natursystem aller bekannten in- und ausländischen Insekten: Schmetterlinge; Nach dem System des Ritters Carl von Linné bearbeitet.
Berlin: Ben Joachim Pauli, 1783. Ludwig Schmidt and others. First Edition. Oblong 4to, 8 1/2 x 10 1/4 in. (211 x 260 mm), 117 fine hand-colored engraved plates, printed on handmade laid paper. Contemporary half calf with marbled paper boards and a handwritten paper label on the spine, chipped; binding rubbed and corners bumped but binding is square and firm; all edges red; light water stain to the cover and fly sheets, not affecting the plates. Very light foxing on a few of the plates. The copy offered here does not include the plate relating to the entomologist's instruments, which is included in some copies.
[Nissen, ZBI 2078].
An exceedingly rare and beautifully-illustrated work by Carl Gustav Jablonsky and JFW Herbst, whose Natursystem is one of the first attempts at a complete survey of exotic and European butterflies, and edited following the system of Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), the father of modern taxonomy, as stated in the subtitle of the work.
Carl Gustav Jablonsky (1765 – 1787) was a Berlin naturalist, entomologist and illustrator, and also the private secretary to the Queen of Prussia, Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern. Jablonsky died at age 31, willing his works to his colleague, Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Herbst (1743 – 1807) who edited the work from volume 3 on. Jablonsky and Krüger of Berlin designed the plates while the engravings were done by Ludwig Schmidt and his assistants.
This is the first album containing 117 engraved plates with brilliant coloring. The complete work, published between 1783 and 1804, consists of 11 octavo volumes of text and albums containing a total of 327 plates, but the brightest and largest specimens are to be found in this first album.
Condition: Near fine.
Item number: 427