Date of Printing: 1775 • Medium: Copperplate Engraving (hand colored) • Subject Category: Natural History - Mammals • Signed: Plate signed, Lower Left • Period Created: Enlightenment (1700 - 1799)• Plate Size HxWxD cm: 24 x 20• Leaf Paper Size HxW cm: 24 x 20• Style: Original Vintage • Print on Verso: Blank on verso • Condition: Excellent, with minor toning at edges• Edition Type: Limited Edition • Paper Type: Laid Paper• Framed: Print only
Arctic Fox (Canis alopex), Plate XCI. From "Die Säugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen" by Johann von Schreber, etched by L. Nufsbiegel. Good paper, reverse side blank. Published 1775-1815 Erlangen, Germany. Artist: Kretsch.
Prof. Dr. Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber (1739 - 1810) was a German naturalist and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He started studying medicin, natural sciences and theology in Halle/Germany and completed his study 1761 in Uppsala/Sweden successfully with his dissertation "Theses medicae". After his return to Germany he directly was employed as practical doctor in Bützow and only two years later he was accepted as full member of the "Leopoldina", the German academy of natural scientists. In 1870 he took employment at the university of Erlangen as professor for botany, natural history, economies and politics where he kept the University belonging botanical garden three years later while translating the complete works of Carl von Linné (Carolus Linnaeus) into german language. He also wrote on entomology notably "Schreberi Novae Species Insectorvm." Schreber is often prefixed I.C.D. and died 1810 in the age of 71 in Erlangen. In 1774 Schreber began writing these multi-volume set of books entitled "Die Säugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen", which focused on the mammals of the world. Many of the animals included were given a scientific name for the first time, following the binomial system of Carolus Linnaeus. These charming plates are from a set of appr. 800 illustrations. The artists responsible had, however, never seen the animals they drew, relying on descriptions from explorers and travellers. Many of the pictures, therefore, are somewhat unrealistic. Collectively, they are known as "Schreber's Fantastic Beasts".