MERIAN, Maria Sibylla
Large folio: -84- pp. (some minor spotting).
Red half shagreen with vellum corners, marbl. paper on covers, spine on 6 raised bands (rubbed but very firm, sm. def. at head & tail). Very good copy.
First folio edition of the Dutch translation of "Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandelung und sonderbare Blumennahrung" (orig. 1679) by the German naturalist and illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717). "The first appearance of the full suite of Maria Merian's plates of European insects, the companion and complement to her great Surinam work [...]. It is as remarkable for its botanical as for its entomological content: the insects are presented in different stages of metamorphosis on and around flowers" (De Belder). This work is rightly famous for its beautiful engr. ills: title vign. signed B. Picart, flower vign. on p. 84 and 185 plates on 47 pp. (2 pls numbered I & LI; n. CLXX skipped in the numbering, as always) showing the insects (mostly butterflies and moths, but also dragonflies, beetles, flies, spiders, a rare bird), their metamorphoses (eggs, cocoons, caterpillars) and the plants that nourish them. The text pages describe the plates and what kind of caterpillar is found on which plant. Maria Sibylla Merian, daughter of engraver Matthaüs and sister of Caspar and Matthaüs the Younger, is known for her early and careful observations and documentation of the metamorphosis of the butterfly, and she is considered, a.o. by David Attenborough, to be among the most significant contributors to the field of entomology. General title in red and black. Ref. Nissen (BBI) 1342. - Cat. De Belder (Magnificent botanical books) 238. - Great Flower Books, p. 30. - Landwehr (Dutch coloured plates) 136. - STCN.
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