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Extremely rare first edition of a paleontological work on the fossil remains of an elk found in Maslów (Poland)

HERMANN, Leonard David.
Relatio historico-antiquaria de sceleto seu ossibus alcis maslae detectis. Das ist: historischer Bericht aus der Antiquitaet von einem Elends-Thier-Körper oder Knochen, welches anno 1729. im May bey dem neuen Wasser- oder Wehr-Bau, in dem Maßlischen Pfarr-Garten-Graben zufälliger Weise gefunden worden, hier aber theils mit nöthigen Reflexions beschrieben, theils auch, was die vornehmsten Stücke anbetrifft, in Kupffer gezeiget werden.
Hirschberg, Dietrich Krahn, 1729. 4to. With 1 full-page engraved plate showing in the upper part a reconstructed image of the elk and below some of its bones, antlers and other fossil remains. 19th-century red-pink decorated paper over stiff paperboards, new endpapers. [14] ll.
€ 3,750
Extremely rare first edition of a paleontological work reporting the uncommon discovery of the fossil remains of a Eurasian elk in the parish garden in Maslów in Silesia, an historical region in southwestern Poland. The Eurasian elk and American moose are two subspieces of the species Alces alces, while what is called an elk in America is one of several species of deer, genus Cervus. In May 1729, Leonard David Hermann (1630-1736), pastor of Máslow, found the remains of the animal in an embankment that normally turned up fossilized mussels, snails and other small species. Hermann explains his discovery by answering several questions, resulting in an elaborate description of the bones, antlers and other fossil remains, explaining why he thinks they belong to an elk and trying to determine whether its remains could still be of any medical or mechanical use. A second edition appeared in 1731. The present first edition is extremely rare. We could only trace two copies in WorldCat and the present copy is also the only copy ever offered for sale, as far as we could find.
Some browning and some occasional spots, but overall in good condition. An extremely rare paleontological work on the discovery of a prehistoric Eurasian elk. Poggendorff I, col. 1077; VD18 10191542 (1 copy); WorldCat (2 copies).
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Related Subjects:

Europe  >  Central & Eastern Europe
Natural history  >  Fossils / Palaeontology
Science & technology  >  Earth Sciences