Sunday, July 03, 2011

Iconographia Zoologica

"Iconographia Zoologica is a 19th century collection of zoological prints that was created by bringing together various collections in the library of the Dutch Royal Zoological Society Natura Artis Magistra between 1881 and 1883. [..]

In addition to drawings, Iconographia Zoologica has a particularly large number of prints made using a variety of printing techniques and often hand-coloured. They originate from zoological publications dating back to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. [..]

Together these prints and drawings constitute a unique paper databank of more than 80,000 illustrations. A selection of approximately 20,000 illustrations of mammals, birds and fish have been included in Memory of the Netherlands."

Golden Eagle
Golden Eagle

Aquila fulva, now known as the Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos

"This Golden Eagle was drawn and etched from living nature by the Susemihl family. For a long time, stuffed animals served as model for many richly illustrated books on animals. At the time, this was called drawing from living nature. The establishment of zoos in Europe, later in the 19th century, enabled illustrators to also paint livestock. This resulted in illustrations becoming less stiff."

IN: 'Teutsche Ornithologie' 1811, Ed. by M Borckhausen

Duif - Columba livia domestica
Portrait of a Pout-er

Is humbly dedicated to the Gentlemen of the Feather Club
by their Obedient Humble servant, M Eaton.
Painted & Engraved by D Wolstoneholme, 1852

Bubo capensis
Le Grand Duc
(Bubo capensis)

Columba livia domestica a
Le Pigeon Carrier Noir

IN: 'L'Acclimatation Illustrée' (breeder's journal, ~1900)

Koningsgier - Sarcoramphus papa
Le zopilote dit roi des vautours

(King-vulture or Sarcoramphus papa)

Gros-bec espagnol

(Spanish sparrow or Fringilla hispaniolensis)

Trochilus cristatus L.
Antillean Crested Hummingbird

(aka: Colibri Hupé or Trochilus cristatus)

Rhea americana
Greater or American Rhea
(Rhea americana)

IN: 'Illustrierte Zeitung', 1890s
(a German or Swiss illustrated periodical - full title not given)

Hippopotamus amphibius
Hippopotamus amphibius
(Nijlpaard - Dutch for hippo)

Hippos - Nijlpaard - Hippopotamus amphibius
Hippopotamus amphibius

(probably 18th century)

"The Quagga was a plains zebra living in South Africa. The last Quagga was killed by hunters in 1878. This species was then added to the long list of extinct animal species. Fortunately, there was one specimen still alive at Artis zoo [Amsterdam]. After its passing away on 12 August 1883, the Quagga disappeared forever from the Earth’s surface. The above print is now preserved in the zebra enclosure of that time."

Felis chaus
Jungle cat* or Felis chaus (1835)

Hapalemur griseus
Le Petit Maki Gris

Eastern lesser bamboo or gentle grey lemur
or Hapalemur griseus (Madagascar)

sketch of a gibbon
Gibbon - genus Hylobates

Indian elephant - Elephas maximus (drawing of baby elephant head
Head of a young Indian elephant, Elephas maximus.

"This pen drawing of a young elephant from William V’s menagerie was done [in ink over pencil in 1774] by J. Camper, son of Petrus Camper (1722-1789). The Artis Library has three drawings by Petrus Camper of the elephants Hans and Parkie. During the French occupation these two elephants were transported to Paris in specially made vehicles as war loot and were exhibited in the Jardin des Plantes. Little is known about the elephant depicted here; but the drawing was certainly done before Hans and Parkie arrived in the Netherlands."

Atherura macroura Lin.
Asiatic brush-tailed porcupine*
(Atherura macroura)

Le Bardeau
Le Bardeau

Engelvis - Holacanthus diacanthus Bodd.
Regal or Royal Angelfish*
(now classified as: Pygoplites diacanthus)

Engelvis - Pomacanthus semicirculatus
Koran or Semicircle Angelfish

(Pomacanthus semicirculatus)

sketch of a sole (fish)

(now classified as: Synaptura orientalis)

Cicade - Fidicina acuta
Cicada from the genus Ficicina (just one of 100+ cicada genera)

sketch of a Goliath Bird Eating Tarantula
Goliath bird-eating tarantula*

(now classified as: Theraphosa blondi*)

Boiga cynodon Boie. (1802-1844)
The dog-toothed cat snake* (Boiga cynodon)

Black snake (Anguis niger)

(alternative - original - version by Catesby)

Acanthodactylus boskianus Daud.

Bosk's Fringe-toed Lizard (Acanthodactylus boskianus)
(Egypt and Saudi Arabia)

{All images have been variously spot-cleaned in the background; click through on any for an enlarged version. Many of the species names and notes above were deduced from the original - outdated - classifications}

Iconographia Zoologica: A Paper Animal Kingdom is available through the Memory of the Netherlands.

As with all their wonderful sprawling collections sites, there are a number of ways to sample and browse through the material. This is one of those sites fit to while away a rainy afternoon. It is worth taking the time and clicking around.

via / twitter / delicious


Belle said...

Amazing illustrations. I've never heard of the Quagga before this.

Martin Dixon said...

Another treat. I especially like the ones which seem to be the result of a game of naturalist Chinese Whispers. Reminds me of a famous exhibition of fantasy animals created 100 years or so ago which had everyone fooled. Can't remember the damned name though. Maybe it has already made an appearance on Bibliodyssey.

peacay said...

Thank you.

Martin, I'm intrigued but stumped; it doesn't ring a bell. I bet there was a platypus involved. Secretive bastards.

Martin Dixon said...

I'm sure it was! I saw the (revived) show in Barcelona a few years ago. The stuffed creatures were fitted together – Frankenstein-style – from various animals and presented as real, fooling experts as well as Joe Public. Will continue racking my brains.

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