Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796-1866) moved to Holland after training as a physician and joined the dutch military as a ship's doctor which took him to Batavia in the Dutch East Indes.
He was soon after assigned the role of doctor/scientist at the dutch outpost on the island of Deshima in Nagasaki - the only western contact Japan allowed at the time. His scientific interests had been primed earlier in life from reading the works of Alexander von Humboldt and so he began establishing what would become during his 6 years stay, an enormous flora, fauna and ethnological collection.
The wonderful images above come from the 'Fauna Japonica Pisces' volume from the series published during the 1840s that catalogued von Siebold's specimens. It is online at the University of Kyoto.
Wikipedia have a good article on von Siebold.
Previously: Fauna Japonica; Siebold's Voyage; The Sometime(s) Natural History of Japan; Glover's Atlas. [All of the above images have had minimal background cleaning. Click on each image for a larger version. (I still haven't even seen von Siebold's volume on birds or the series on flora)]
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Posted by peacay at 4:55 am