Conrad Gesner; Crane - Ornithology - hand coloured woodcut - FOLIO FIRST EDITION - 1557
Gesner, Konrad, 1516-1565
Handcolored woodcuts on FINE FOLIO LEAF.
Leaf: ca 22 x 34 cm. On fine laid paper, much superior to later editions.
From the extremely rare and very sought after first German edition of the 'Vogelbuch'. The woodcut illustrations were the first real attempts to represent animals in their natural environment. Unlike later editions, as well as the Latin editions, this first edition in German is on thicker laid paper which minimizes the show-through.
Gesner employed artists and drew upon existing woodcuts in circulation to illustrate the encyclopedic work and it is thought that Gesner himself produced drawings of specimens from his own collections. Gessner acknowledges one of his main illustrators was Lucas Schan (active 1526–1558).