1669 CROSSBILL OWL - Conrad Gesner Folio original with 2 woodcuts hand coloured - Ornithology


Gesner, Conrad, 1516-1565

Handcolored woodcuts on FINE FOLIO LEAF (recto and verso of one leaf). 

Zürich, 1669.

Leaf: ca 20.5 x 34 cm/Approx 8 x 13.5 inches.


Issued in:

The Historiae animalium ("Histories of the Animals") published at Zurich was an encyclopedic work of "an inventory of renaissance zoology" by Conrad Gesner, a doctor and professor at the Carolinum, the precursor of the University of Zurich. It is the first modern zoological work that attempts to describe all the animals known, and the first bibliography of natural history writings.

Though in his large work Gesner sought to distinguish facts from myths, his encyclopedic work also included mythical creatures and imaginary beasts, intermixed with the strange newly discovered animals of the East Indies, those of the far north and animals brought back from the New World.

This woodcut issued in Frankfurt 1669.