Saturday, 28 May 2016
Hermann Burmeister (1807–92)
Mammal Skeleton Fossils: Plate X; Plate XIII; Plate XVI, 1882–5, from Hermann Burmeister’s et al., “Description physique de la République Argentine d'après des observations personelles et étrangères” published in 1876, Buenos Aires & Paris. (Note that the three parts of Section 2 featuring the prints of “Mammifères” were published from 1881 to 1886.)
Large-folio colour lithographs on thick wove paper
Size: (each sheet) 56 x 36 cm
Inscribed (upper left) with the folio number and name, “II Mammifè”; (upper right) with the plate number in Roman numerals; (lower left) the name of the artist/designer and the date of publication; (lower right) the name of the printer and city of publication. Each anatomical detail is also inscribed with a relevant figure number.
Condition: strong impressions with full margins (as published). The sheets show minor signs of use (i.e. lightly bumped edges and general dustiness) and Plate X—the sheet featuring the seal—is lined on the back with a fine conservator’s support sheet.
I am selling these three large and exceptionally beautiful original 19th century lithographs for AU$108 (currently US$77.60/EUR69.81/GBP53.07 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing these masterworks of illustration, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
Burmeister’s choice to add colour to these large lithographs of mammal skeleton fossils, certainly gives “life” to old bones. Nevertheless, I wonder if the addition of colour is simply to make them eye-catchingly beautiful or whether there is a more scientifically robust reason. I would like to believe that the colour helps to clarify—in a genuinely objective way—the true local colour of the bones and the seal, but I guess that the reason really doesn’t matter. The “end-result” for these illustrations is what counts and, to my eyes, the touch of colour engages the eye and sustains interest.