Bloch, Marcus-Elieser. Ichtyologie, ou histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des poissons. Avec des Figures enluminées, dessinées d’après nature…


The most spectacular work dedicated to fishes
illustrated with 216 engravings watercoloured at the time, some of them enhanced with silver.

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Berlin, chez l’Auteur, & chez François de la Garde, 1785-1788.

6 parts (out of 12) bound in 6 volumes folio. I/ (1) l. with half-title, (2) ll. of subscription, (2) ll. of foreword, 206 pp., (1) l. of table, 37 plates out of pagination ; II/ (1) l. of half-title, (1) title, 170 pp., (1) l. of table, 35 plates out of pagination ; III/ (1) l. of half-title, (1) title, 160 pp., (1) l. of table, 36 plates out of pagination ; IV/ (1) l. of half-title, (1) l. of title, 134 pp., (1) l. of table, 36 plates out of pagination ; V/ (1) l. of half-title, (1) title, 130 pp., (1) l. of table, 36 plates out of pagination ; VI/ (1) l. of half-title, (1) title, viii, 150 pp., (1) l. of table, 36 plates out of pagination. That is a total of 216 plates. Russian brown quarter-calf, flat spines deocrated with gilt borders, gilt fleurons. Contemporary binding.

420 x 270 mm.

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First edition in French of the most spectacular book dedicated to fishes.

Nissen ZBI 416 ; Wood 244.

It is illustrated with 216 superb engravings printed in color and contemporary enhanced by hand, either with silver or with brilliant colors (about 400 x 250 mm), 6 printed in sanguine, 2 in bistre and 1 in blue by F.G. Berger, G. Bodenehr, C. Darchow, P. Haas, J.F. Henning, C. Ludwig Schmidt and J.G. Schmidt after J.F. Henning et Krüger.

« This work is the most beautiful that we have about that part of natural history… » (Brunet, I, 974).

The present work is « … not common in our country » emphasizes Brunet.

Marc-Elieser Bloch was born in Anspach in 1723. He learnt anatomy and natural sciences in Berlin. He was appointed doctor in Francfort and practiced in Berlin.

His Ichtyologie is considered as his main work but Bloch also published other important scientific works.

« This eminent scholar was part of the Société des Curieux de la nature and he gained a great reputation there. His work about fishes is magnificent, it is considered one of the most outstanding ever published about that matter. »

The German edition of the Ichtyologie entitled Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische was published from 1782 to 1795.

A second collection of 6 parts was published by Godefroy Hayn from 1795 to 1797.

One usually considers that the complete work should comprise 12 parts, even if the dates are different and even if the sixth part published in 1788 bears the mention : « sixth and last part ».

A very fine copy, in folio size, printed on thick paper, preserved in its elegant contemporary bindings, illustrated with 216 engravings in very beautiful contemporary coloring, of this important work : « one of the early and fondamental treatises on general ichthyology by a well-known authority ». (Wood).

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Bloch, Marcus-Elieser.