# 16878


[WHALES] A pair of mid-eighteenth century broadsides on whales, whaling, and marine curiosities.

1. Historia Animantium Marinorum Iconographica & quidem Repræsenatio ejus Specialis I, in qua Balaenarum Species, Figura, … exhibentur. Omnia ex Fr. Martens, Zorgdrager &c. itinerariis hausta, & in oblectamentum naturæ curiosorum edita ab Homannianis Heredibus ; cum privilegio s. cæs. maj. gratiosissimo. Also titled: Abbildliche Geschichte der See-Thiere u. zwar derselben I. besondere Vorstellung, in welcher die Walfische nach ihren Arthen, Figur, Grösse, Nahrung, Fang … vor Augen gestellt werden / alles aus den bewehrtesten Reise-Beschreibern Fr. Martens, Zorgdrager &c. den Liebhabern der Natur zur Belustigung also heraus gegeben von Homænnischen Erben. [Nuremberg] : Homann heirs, [1752]. Broadside, hand coloured copper engraving, 510 x 590 mm (sheet), on thick paper (unbacked and unmounted); a fine example.

2. Historia Animantium Marinorum Iconographica et quidem Repraesentatio eius II, in qua Balaenarum species cum duplici suo hoste, qui sunt Pristis et Narwal, ex itinerariis exhibentur. Edita in Officina Homanniana 1752. Also titled: Abbildliche Geschichte der See-Thiere, und zwar derselben zweyte besondere Vorstellung, in welcher eine Art Walfische, nebst ihren zwey Feinden, dem Seege-Fisch und Narwal, zu sehen sind. Herausgegeben in der Homænnischen Handlung, A. 1752. [Nuremberg] : Homann heirs, 1752. Broadside, hand coloured copper engraving, 485 x 520 mm (sheet), on thick paper (unbacked and unmounted); a fine example.

Rare first edition of this separately issued pair of pedagogical broadsides (individually titled, and numbered I and II) by the German engravers and publishers Homann, successors to the firm founded by the famous Nuremberg geographer and cartographer Johann Baptist Homann (1664-1724).

Nissen, ZBI 1990.

These beautifully illustrated and scientifically accurate large format broadsides depict and describe various species of whale and other curious marine creatures such as the sawfish and the sea louse, and include scenes of whale hunting in the Arctic and of processing blubber to make the precious commodity, whale oil. They form the counterparts to the Homanns’ three separately issued broadsides on terrestial animals (elephant, rhino and crocodile – see Nissen, ZBI 1989) which were published around the same time as Abbildliche Geschichte der ausländischen Landthiere. Prior to the Homanns’ broadsides, these wondrous creatures of the deep would have been known to much of their land-locked European audience only through the physical remains of them which might occasionally be displayed in Wunderkammers, or cabinets of curiosities.