Thesaurus imaginum piscium testaceorum

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RUMPF, Georg Eberhard (1628-1702). Thesaurus imaginum piscium testaceorum. The Hague, 1739.

Folio (16 x 9 ¾ in.; 40.6 x 24.7 cm.). Title-page printed in red and black with engraved vignette. Fine engraved portrait of Rumpf, additional engraved allegorical title-page , 60 exceptionally fine engraved plates, 4 large engraved vignette head- and tail-pieces, woodcut initials; occasional spotting, title-page creased, plates XIII and XXXV with long closed tears. Contemporary sprinkled calf; rebacked preserving the original spine, corners strengthened, some surface abrasions.


This work is the earliest and one of the most comprehensive depictions of crustacea, including lobsters and crabs, exotic shells, minerals, and other specimens of the South Pacific. Also known as a botanist, Rumpf [Rumphius], was the author of the 1741 posthumous publication "Herbarium Amboinense", and devoted his life to the study of natural history in the Moluccas, Indonesia. In 1652, Rumphius joined the military branch of the Dutch East India Company and sailed for Batavia. His expertise in natural history was encouraged by the Dutch governor-general, and Rumphius was able to establish a library and a small garden where he spent the next three decades compiling 12 volumes on the natural history of Ambon. PROVENANCE: Richard Harris, his sale Bloomsbury Book Auctions, New York, The Richard Harris Collection: Natural History & Colorplate Books, 13th October 2010, lot 93. REFERENCES: NHM. #72BBA93

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