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Søren Abildgaard
ABILDGAARD, Søren.

ABILDGAARD, Søren.
(1718 - 1791)

(Born: Flekkefjord, Denmark [now Norway], 18 February 1718; Died: Copenhagen, Denmark, 2 July 1791) Danish draughtsman, mineralogist & naturalist.

Abildgaard matriculated at the University in Copenhagen in 1737 and became interested in the natural sciences and particularly in its practical application. After he left school, Abildgaard supported himself through his capabilities as an expert draftsman and painter. Over 900 of his drawings are preserved in Danish museums.

Biographical references: Baltisches Biographisches Archiv: I 1, 366. Dansk Biografisk Haandleksikon: 1, 8, portrait. Ehrencron-Müller, Forfatterlexikon, 1974-89: 1, 46-9. Garboe, Geologiens Historie i Danmark, 1959-61: 1, 116-24, portrait. Poggendorff: 1, cols. 4-5. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 35. WBI.

Beskrivelse, 1759

1. Danish, 1759 [First edition].
Soren Abildgaards | Beskrivelse | over | Stevens Klint | og | dens naturlige | Mærkværdigheder, | oplyst og udførdt med | Mineralogiske og Chymiske | Betragtninger, | samt forsyned med fornødne Kobberstykker. | [rule] | Imprimatur, B. Möllmann. | [ornate rule] | Kiøbenhavn, 1759. | trykt hos L.N. Svare, boende i Skindergaben.

8°: π3 A-C8 χ1; 28l.; [6], [1]-50 p., 3 folding plates. Page size: 225 x 170 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs], Dedication, signed Søren Abildgaard, 31 March 1759.; [1]-50, Text.; [At end], 3 plates.

Very scarce. A visit to the chert and fossil bearing chalk beds of Stevn Klint situated south of Copenhagen along Denmark's Baltic coast prompted Abildgaard to write in 1759 the first geological account of this interesting formation. Dedicating the book to King Frederick the Fifth, a description of the area is provided, including mineralogical and chemical observations on the chert nodules, fossil shells and the surrounding material. Abildgaard speculates that the chert is actually petrified soil. At the end of the volume are bound three plates engraved from the author's original drawings that show panoramas of the beds and on plate 3, various fossil shells found in the strata. Abildgaard also indicates he plans to write another book describing a similar formation in Møns, which was published as Physisk-Mineralogisk Beskrivelse over Moens Klint (Køpenhagen, 1781) [which see entry below].

Modern geochemical research on specimens from Stevn Klint, a famous and classic formation, show that at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, there is a high saturation of iridium and gold. This together with the presence of meteoric proportions of other metals provides further evidence of an asteroidial impact in the earth's distant past.

Bibliographical references: Bibliotheca Danica: 2, 201. BL [B.371.(6.)]. Ehrencron-Müller, Forfatterlexikon, 1974-89: 1, 46-9. Garboe, Geologiens Historie i Danmark, 1959-61: 1, 116-24. Lærde Efterretninger. Kopenhagen: 1759, no. 28 [review]. LKG: XIV 9. Fortgesetzte Nachrichten (edited by J. Lorck). Kopenhagen & Leipzig: 2, 210-3 [review]. NUC: 2, 13 [NA 0024562].

2. German, 1764 [German transl.].
Sören Abildgaards | Beschreibung | von | Stevens Klint | und dessen | natürlichen Merkwürdigkeiten, | mit | mineralogischen und chymischen Betrachtungen | erläutert, | und mit Kupferstichen versehen. | [rule] | Aus dem Dänischen übersetzt. | [ornament] | Kopenhagen und Leipzig, | verlegts Franz Christian Mummens Witwe. | 1764.

8°: A-E8 F4; 44l.; [1]-88 p., 3 folding plates. Engraved head piece.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; [3]-88, Text.; [At end], 3 folding plates.

Very scarce. German translation of Beskrivelse over Stevens Klint (Kiøbenhavn, 1759), which contains no additional material, but includes reproductions of the three plates found in the original edition.

Bibliographical references: Berlinische Sammlungen: 9, 428. Berlinischer Magazin: 1, 241. Bibliotheca Danica: 2, 201. BL [572.c.28.]. BMC: 1, 4. Cobres, Deliciæ Cobresianæ, 1782: 1, 258. Ehrencron-Müller, Forfatterlexikon, 1974-89: 1, 46-9. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 80. LKG: XIV 10a. Mart. Verz.: 2, 111. NUC: 2, 13 [NA 0024561]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 3. Schröter's Journal für die Liebhaber: 4, 1.

3. German, 1765 [First separate edition].
Sören Abildgaards | Abhandlung | vom | Torf. | [double rule] | Aus dem Dänischen überstzt. | [ornate rule] | Kopenhagen, | bey Franz Mummens Wittwe, | 1765.

8°: A-E8 F7; 47l.; [1]-94 p.

Contents: [1-2], Title page, verso blank.; [3-4], "Vorbericht | des Uebersetzers."-dated 30 November 1764.; [5]-94, Text.

Rare. German translation by the author(?) of a paper concerning peat, its occurances, uses and economics. The original Danish version of this work appeared as "Afhandling om Tørv" in Pontoppidans Danmarks og Norges oeconomiske Magazin, 6 (1761), 297-330. Gatterer (1798-9) says of this translation that it "contains nothing new, and is unnecessary" owing to J.H. Degner's Physische und chymische Erörterung vom Torf (Frankfurt und Leipzig, 1731).

Bibliographical references: Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek: 4, no. 1, 294-5. Bibliotheca Danica: 2, 206. BL [967.h.12.(4.)]. Ehrencron-Müller, Forfatterlexikon, 1974-89: 1, 46-9. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 2, 186. LKG: XVI 442. NUC [no copy listed].

4. Danish, 1781 [First edition].
Physisk=Mineralogisk | Beskrivelse | over | Moens Klint ved S. Abildgaard. | [ornament] | [rule] | Med Kobber. | [double rule] | Kiøbenhavn, 1781. | Christian Gottlob Prosts Forlag.

8°: [1]-70 p., 2 plates.

Very scarce. The first work to deal with the white chalk cliffs on the coast of the island of Moën (now Møn) in southeastern Denmark. Its emphasis is placed on the origin and nature of the flint layers that occur within the chalk. The plates show panoramas of the cliffs that reproduce original drawings by the author.

Bibliographical references: Bibliotheca Danica: 2, 201. BL [987.a.23.]. Ehrencron-Müller, Forfatterlexikon, 1974-89: 1, 46-9. Garboe, Geologiens Historie i Danmark, 1959-61: 1, 116-24. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 81. LKG: XIV 12c. NUC [no copy listed].

5. German, 1783 [German transl.].
Physikalisch = mineralogische | Beschreibung | des | Vorgebirges auf der Insel | Möen | von | S. Abildgaard. | [rule] | Aus dem | Dänischen, nach den neuesten Berichtigungen | und Verbesserungen der Verfassers, | übersetzt | von Christian Heinrich Reichel. | [rule] | Mit Kupfern. | [double rule] | Kopenhagen, 1783. | bey Christian Gottlob Prost, | Königlich=Dänischem Universtätsbuchhändler.

8°: [10], 61, [1] p., 2 folding plates. Page size: 165 x 105 mm.

Rare. German translation by Christian Heinrich Reichel [see note below] of Physisk-mineralogisk Beskrivelse over Moëns Klint (Kiøbenhavn, 1781), with additions and corrections provided by the author. The plates are reproduced from the original edition and show panoramas of the cliffs.

Christian Heinrich Reichel. (Born: Leipzig, Germany, 13 April 1734; Died: Zittau, Germany, 1807) German teacher & translator. Reichel was first an instructor in Danish and Swedish in Leipzig, before becoming in 1794 an instructor of the French language at the gymnasium in Zittau. He rendered many translations from Swedish and Danish into German.

Bibliographical references: Allgemeine Deutsche Bibliothek: 8 (1784), 570-1. Bibliotheca Danica: 2, 201. BL [B.383.(1.)]. Ehrencron-Müller, Forfatterlexikon, 1974-89: 1, 46-9. Garboe, Geologiens Historie i Danmark, 1959-61: 1, 116-24. Gatterer, Mineralogischen Literatur, 1798-9: 1, 81. Hoover Collection: no. 3. Lærde Efterretninger. Kopenhagen: 1784, p. 119. LKG: XIV 13d. NUC: 2, 13 [NA 0024563]. (Reichel) DBA: I 1011, 23-35. Ehrencron-Müller, Forfatterlexikon, 1974-89: 6, 442. Hamberger & Meusel, Gelehrte Teutschland, 1796-1834. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1750-51. WBI.

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