Esper, Eugenius Johann Christoph (1742-1810): Die Schmetterlinge in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen
orig. hand col. copper engraving; c 23 x 18 cm; exc. cond.; all mounted with acid free cardboard.
Very finely executed depictions of butterflies by the German entomologist E.Joh.Chr. Esper who, together with his brother Frederick, was introduced to natural history at an early age by their father, an amateur botanist. Initially Esper studied theoogy but was persuaded by is professor to study botany instead. He became director of the department of natural history in Erlangen in 1805 and due to his relentless efforts, the university's collections of minerals, birds, plants, shells and insects grew very rapidly. He published a series of richly illustrated booklets entitled Die Schmetterlinge in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen which were published between 1776 and1807 and contained 438 hand-coloured plates of plants and insects.