2 years before his death in 1797 Joachim Johann Nepomuk Anton Spalowsky issued the remarkable treatise on conchology, Prodromus in Systema Historicum Testaceorum. It was published with both latin and german text and the 13 plates were engraved and coloured by hand in water colour and gouache, often with gold and silver leaf beneath the paint to produce an effect resembling iridescence.
Spalowsky was from the present day Czech Republic and was a surgeon for the civic military in Vienna and a member of the Royal Science Society of Prague. He was wide ranging in his authorship, producing works on poisonous plants, economics and numismatics, birds and mammals. Following his death, Spalowsky's wife found a patron in Prinz Carl Ludwig whom I presume assisted in selling the unsold copies. The lasting value of the work is in the illustrations although Spalowsky did provide descriptions for some new species of molluscs.
The Smithsonian Institution have a complete copy online of an 1801 edition (containing a dedication to Ludwig) of Prodromus in Systema Historicum Testaceorum in large format with biographic and bibliographic details.
[I cleaned up some of the background in the above image details]
Monday, May 15, 2006
Posted by peacay at 3:56 pm