Zoologia Danica seu Animalium Daniae et Norvegiae rariorum ac minus notorum Descriptiones et Historia. Volumen I-IV. (Auctore O.F. Müller. - Vol. III: P.C. Abildgaard - IV: P.C. Abildgaard, M. Vahl, J.S. Holten, J. Rathke).

Havniae (København), N. Möller (et Filii) og N. Christensen, 1788-1806.

Folio. Bound in two contemporary half calf bindings (vol. 1-4) with single gilt lines to spines. Gilt leather-title-label. Small tear to upper part of one hinge of vol. I. Marbled paper over boards. Spines with light signs of wear. Four engraved title-vignettes. (2),VI,52; (4),56; (4),71,(1); (6),46 pp. + 160 engraved plates (complete). Both plates and text have been printed on thick, heavy paper and are in excellent condition. Vol. II, however has a bit of marginal brownspotting to the first text-leaves. A few plates with minor, vague, marginal brownspotting.

Apart from the 160 plates in b/w as issued, there is an unusual "appendix volume" that contains the first 120 plates (I-CXX) of the work, corresponding to the plates of vols. I-III, in beautiful ORIGINAL HAND-COLOURING. Furthermore, the binding has belonged to our famous zoologist OTTO FABRICIUS (internationally renowned for his "Fauna Groenlandica" (1780) ). At the foot of every plate, Fabricius has added species- and figure-determination in his own hand, outside of the print. That these denominations are in Fabricius' hand is evident from a handwritten note on the front free end-paper: "The designations here written are added by the zoologist professor Otto Fabricius, at whose auction this work is bought by H.B. Melcior." ("De her anførte skrevne benævnelser ere tilföiede af Zoologen professor Otto Fabricius, paa hvis Auktion dette værk er kiöbt af H.B. Melcior."). Melchior was a teacher at Herlufsholm and founded the natural history collections of the school. On the front free end-paper there is a stamp from the library of the school (Herlufsholms Bibliotek). This collection is bound in a contemporary full mottled calf binding with richly gilt spine. Small holes to boards. Binding with some wear. The plates are fine and fresh.

Complete copy (of all that appeared) of this extremely rare work, which constitutes the highlight of Danish zoological literature of the 18thy century. The work was meant to be a counterpart to Bibliotheca Danica, but it was never completed.

Here we have the work with the Latin text and all the plates that were issued. The publishing began already in 1777, when Müller issued the plates for the first two volumes separately, with no text. The publishing history is complicated, but it is thoroughly described in Jean Anker's monograph about the work (1950). The work describes the marine fauna in Denmark and Norway, and according to Anker, it is a foundational work of marine biology. Müller was one of the first to make widespread use of a bottom scraper - "Müller must therefore be regarded as one of the real pioneers in marine biology" (Anker).

There are only very few copies of the work which have all plates in hand-coloured condition. In the present copy, all issued plates are present in b/w, and in addition we have plates 1-120 in hand-coloured condition.

Bibl. Danica II,168. - Jean Anker "Otto Friderich Müller's Zoologia Danica" (1950) - Nissen ZBI,2932.- Gosch, Afd. III, pp. 176-80.

Order-nr.: 54125

DKK 145.000,00