C1813

Das Braune (a) und Rothe (b) Schnuabelthier. (Ornithorhynchus fuscus et ruber.)

Early depiction of male and female platypus based on Charles Alexander Lesueur’s engraving originally issued of the accounts of the French voyage of  exploration under the command of Nicholas Baudin. Chronological sequence of discovery : The first description and known … Read Full Description

$A 165

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S/N: BFKI-0840081B–371075
(B009)
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Details

Full Title:

Das Braune (a) und Rothe (b) Schnuabelthier. (Ornithorhynchus fuscus et ruber.)

Date:

C1813

Condition:

Faint mark at top right of image, otherwise in good condition.

Technique:

Hand coloured copper engraving.

Image Size: 

155mm 
x 102mm

Paper Size: 

203mm 
x 140mm
AUTHENTICITY
Das Braune (a) und Rothe (b) Schnuabelthier. (Ornithorhynchus fuscus et ruber.) - Antique Print from 1813

Genuine antique
dated:

1813

Description:

Early depiction of male and female platypus based on Charles Alexander Lesueur’s engraving originally issued of the accounts of the French voyage of  exploration under the command of Nicholas Baudin.

Chronological sequence of discovery :
The first description and known sighting was from a captured animal in November 1797 by David Collins on the Hawkesbury River. When the first skin sent by John Hunter, reached Europe it was thought to be a hoax and during the nineteenth century is was suspected that it lay eggs, but it was not until 1884 that final proof was obtained.

First sighting and capture November 1797
‘….. made up the whole catalogue of animals that were known at this time, with the exception which must now be made of an amphibious animal, of the mole species, one of which had been lately found on the banks of a lake near the Hawkesbury.

First published description 1799
‘…Of all the Mammalia yet known it seems the most extraordinary in its conformation, exhibiting the perfect resemblance of the beak of a Duck engrafted on the head of a quadraped. So accurate is the similitude, that, at first view, it naturally excites the idea of some deceptive preparation by artificial means…

Not a Hoax 1800
Of this most extraordinary genus the first description appeared in the Naturalist’s Miscellany; but as the individual there described was the only one which had been seen…… Two more specimens, however, having been very lately sent over from New Holland, by Governor Hunter, to Sir Joseph Banks, the suspicions before mentioned are now completely dissipated.

From Bertuch, Friedrich Justin; Bertuch, Carl: Bilderbuch für Kinder: enthaltend eine angenehme Sammlung von Thieren, Pflanzen, Früchten, Mineralien

Charles Alexander Lesueur (1778 - 1846)

French natural history and topographical artist on board the lavishly equipped scientific expedition prepared by the Institut de France with the ambitions to explore the southern parts of the Eastern Hemisphere, in two corvettes, Geographe and the Naturaliste. Lesueur was taken on not as an artist or scientist but as an assistant gunner. Nichloas Baudin the commander of the expedition soon discovered Lesueur's talents and employed him as an illustrator for his private journal. His prolific output and the quality of his drawings during this important voyage is a testament to his artistic talents.

View other items by Charles Alexander Lesueur

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