Saturday, December 10, 2005

Slabber Marine Miniatures

Martinus Slabber (1740-1835) was something of an allrounder. Although his background education in Holland is not well known it seems he was a physician but at some time he also worked as a bailiff, alderman, mayor, president of the court of justice and tax collector.

Not to be outdone by his professional undertakings, he was also a keen amateur zoologist. The images here are from a book devoted to invertebrate marine creatures from the North Sea which he examined under a microscope. His work (described as 'landmark' at many websites that seem to be pilfering a single source) was issued by subscription in 18 sections, one for each of the illustration plates that accompany his text. Slabber did all of the illustrating and (I think) some of the engraving himself.

Natuurkundige Verlustigingen was released between 1769 and 1778 with both latin and dutch names for the creatures as well as morphological and some physiological descriptions. The work (together with another book on taxidermy) resulted in Slabber being accepted into German and Dutch scientific academies. Six marine taxa are named after him.

The 18 illustration plates from Natuurkundige Verlustigingen are online at the Marine Biological Laboratory Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
[Link updated 31.12.13].

[all the above images are details]

Update of link in comments: A compilation Slabber book at U Strasbourg, 'Physicalische Belustigungen oder microscopische Wahrnehmungen in- und ausländischer Wasser- und Landthierchen'.

1 comment :

peacay said...

All of these illustrations appear to be in a newly uploaded (later) work by Slabber at Strasbourg Digital Library (so the illustrations are enormous) called 'Physicalische Belustigungen oder microscopische' - 1775.

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