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Natural History Art, Monkeys, Mozambique, Antique Print Pair, 19th C.


Wilhelm C.H. Peters (1815-1883) (editor/naturalist)
Johann Daniel Lebrecht (J.D.L.) Franz Wagner (1810-after 1864) (after)
Gebr Delius (lithograph printers)
Cercopithecus flavidus
Cercopithecus ochraceus
from Naturwissenschaftliche Reise nach Mossambique… in den Jahren 1842 bis 1848 ausgeführt; Zoologie I. Säugethiere [Natural Science Expedition in Mozambique.Undertaken in the Years 1842 to 1848; Zoology Volume 1: Mammals] (1852)
Georg Reimer, Berlin: 1852-1882
Hand-colored lithographs
13.25 x 10 inches, overall
$600, the pair

Studies of monkeys perched on branches accompanied by an inset drawing of the skull. They come from a pioneering work on the natural history of Mozambique by Wilhelm C.H. Peters, who spent several years there studying and documenting the fauna. These illustrations possess striking realism, posed with no trace of anthropomorphism, the fur and features carefully delineated. One is labeled as being at ½ scale.

Product Description Continues Below


Wilhelm C.H. Peters was the assistant of the anatomist Johannes Müller, and later became director of the Berlin Zoological Museum. With the enthusiastic support of Müller and the explorer Alexander von Humboldt, Peters undertook a natural history expedition to Mozambique, which was the crowning achievement of his career. He explored the entire coastal region and spent nearly a year up the Zambesi River deep in the interior. He returned with enormous collections which he described in the illustrated series of volumes Naturwissenschaftliche Reise nach Mossambique… in den Jahren 1842 bis 1848 ausgeführ, a work admired for its scientific rigor and comprehensiveness, covering mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, river fish, insects and botany. Peters’ specialty was herpetology, to which he contributed the description of 122 new genera and 649 species from around the world, about 65% of which are still considered valid today.

Johann Daniel Lebrecht Franz Wagner was a German painter.

Condition: Generally very good with very minor overall toning and wear.

References: BM(NH)IV, p. 1555; Nissen ZBI, 3139; Stafleu & Cowan 7759.