The Natural History Collections at Dresden
Large Paper Copy
Description du Cabinet Roial de Dresde touchant l'Histoire Naturelle.
Engraved arms on title, an engraved headpiece depicting the Zwinger, & two engraved folding plates. 1 p.l., 101,  pp. Large 4to, cont. mottled & polished sheep (minor browning), spine gilt, leather lettering piece on spine. Dresden & Leipzig: G.C. Walther, 1755.
First edition, and a fine large paper copy, of the “first separate catalogue of the Dresden natural history collections housed in the magnificent baroque Zwinger (built by Poeppelmann in 1711), which also accommodated the Dresden print cabinet. This catalogue is one of the fruits of Augustus the Strong’s reorganisation of the old Dresden Wunderkammer into a number of specialised collections. The collection of ancient marbles was similarly catalogued in 1733, and the prehistoric and mineralogical collections in 1749; other departments of the museum followed in the nineteenth century…
“Fossils and petrifactions, animal skeletons and specimens, corals and shells were all represented in profusion, but oddities and natural curiosities still abound in the form of ‘Missgeburten’, peculiarly shaped plants, and two pieces of gold and silver supposedly transmuted from copper and lead by Johann Friedrich Boettger, better known for his rediscovery of the art of making porcelain. The final chapter is devoted to a model of Solomon’s temple, constructed over a period of twenty years from Biblical references by a Hamburg gentleman named Schott. The model had been admired by Peter the Great and exhibited in London where a pamphlet about it was issued in 1725. The folding plates give ground-plans of the Zwinger.”–Grinke, From Wunderkammer to Museum, 50.
Very nice copy, printed on large paper. A German language edition was also published in the same year.
❧ Murray, I, pp. 207-8. Schuh, Mineralogy & Crystallography: A Biobibliography, 1469 to 1920, 1506.
Item ID: 5250