Historiae Naturalis de Quadrupedibus Libri

Method Copper engraving
Artist Matthäus Merian II
Published Amstelodami, Apud Ioannem Iacobi Fil. Schipper. MDCLVII. [Amsterdam, 1657]
Dimensions Image 285 x 175 mm, Plate 302 x 185 mm
Notes The decorative frontispiece, featuring a pair of centaurs holding a lion skin, for the 1657 first edition of John Jonston's Historiae Naturalis de Quadrupedibus Libri, cum aeneis figuris, Johannes Jonstonus Medicinae Doctor, concinnavit, the first book of a six volume work of the animal kingdom, which became a standard 17th century encyclopaedia of natural history. Remarkable more for its breadth and arrangement than any particular advancement of the study and classification of animals, it was an extremely popular work, in great part because of numerous engravings by Matthäus Merian the Younger and his younger brother Caspar Merian. It was translated and reprinted in many editions into the later half of the 18th century.

John Jonston (1603-1675) was a Polish scholar, naturalist, and physician of Scottish parentage. He studied at St. Andrews, Cambridge, and Leiden, practising medicine for some years and earning a great reputation. He was offered several university chairs but turned them down, preferring to return to Poland and study independently. Jonston wrote extensively on a number of subjects and his work is seen by many as compilations of learning.

Matthäus Merian II (1621-1687) was a portrait painter, engraver and publisher. Born in Basel he was the son of Matthäus Merian the Elder and half brother of Maria Sibylla Merian. In 1650, after his father's death, he took over the family printing business.

Jan Jacobz. Schipper (1616-1669), born Jan Dommekracht, was an Amsterdam-based printer, bookseller, and poet. Many of his publications feature a frontis illustration of a ship, in reference to his adoption of the pseudonym 'Schipper' in reference to his father's maritime career.

Condition: Trimmed close to platemark and laid to an early album page. Minor time toning to sheet. Minor creasing and staining to album page.
Framing unmounted
Price £200.00
Stock ID 51120