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Georg Wolfgang Knorr
KNORR, Georg Wolfgang.

KNORR, Georg Wolfgang.
(1705 - 1761)

(Born: Nuremburg, Germany, 30 December 1705; Died: Nuremberg, Germany, 17 September 1761) German artist, engraver, paleontologist & naturalist.

Knorr was a palaeontologist, painter, engraver and art dealer in the scientific center of Nuremburg. He made exceptional engraved portraits, landscapes and animal studies after Dürer that are today valued for their accuracy. Knorr is considered a protogeologist intermediate between collectors of natural history objects and those who first used fossils for identification and mapping of stratigraphic succession. But his renown is for the detailed and accurate scientific copper plates he created and used to illustrate the many works on natural history and paleontology authored by himself and others.

Biographical references: ADB: 16, 326-7. Bryan's Dictionary of Painters, 1903-4. Biographie Universelle. Cleevely, World Palæontological Collections, 1983: 173-4. DBA: I 673, 80-100; II 725, 94-98. Drugulin, Sechstausend Portraits, 1863: no. 2968. DSB: 7, 411-3. Eisinger, W., "Georg Wolfgang Knorr", Entomologische Zeitschrift, 43, (1930), no. 20, 241-5. Gaehtgens, Deutsche Zeichnungen, 1987: p. 92-3. Hirsching, Historisch-literarisches Handbuch, 1794-1815: 3, 312-6. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, Supplement: 3, 576-7. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 238. Lipowsky, Baierisches Künstler-Lexicon, 1810: 1, 154-5. Ludwig, Nürnberger Naturgeschichtliche Malerei, 1998: p. 346-8, portrait. Meusel, Verstorbenen Teutschen Schrifsteller, 1802-16. Nagler, Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon, 1835-52: 7, 87-8. Poggendorff: 1, col. 1284. Singer, Allgemeiner Bildniskatalog, 1930-8: no. 48357. Thieme & Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon, 1907-50: 21, 30-1. WBI. Will, Nürnbergisches Gelehrten-Lexicon, 1755-1808.

Deliciæ Naturæ Selectæ, 1754-66

1. German & French, 1754-66 [First edition].
[Engraved German title page:] Deliciæ Naturæ | Selectæ | [ornate rule] | oder | auserlesenes | Naturalien Cabinet | welches | aus den | drey Reichen der Natur, | zeiget | was von | Curiosen Liebhabern | aufbebaletn | und gesammlet zu werden verdienet. | Herausgegeben von | Georg Wolfgang Knorr | Nürnberg. | [ornate rule] | [vignette].

[French title page reads:]

Delices | Physiques Choisies, | Ou | Choix | De Tout Ce Que | Les Trois Règnes De La Nature | Renferment | De Plus Digne Des Recherches D'un Amateur Curieux | Pour En Former | Un | Cabinet Choisi | De | Curiositez Naturelles, | Ouvrage Communique Cy-Devant Au Public | Par | George Wolfgang Knorr | Celebre Artiste De Nuremberg | Continue Par | Ses Heritiers | Avec Les Descriptions Et Remarques | De | Philippe Louis Stace Müller | Professeur Public-Ordinaire En Philosophie A L'Universite D'Erlang | Et Traduit En François | Par | Mathieu Verdier De La Blaquière, | Conseiller A La Chambre Provinciale De Bayreuth. | [rule] | A | Nuremberg, | MDCCLXVI.

[Title page of part two reads:]

Deliciae | Naturae Selectae | oder | auserlesenes | Naturalien=Cabinet | welches aus den | drey Reichen der Natur | zeiger, | was von curiosen Liebhabern aufbehalten und gesammlet zu werden verdienet. | Ehrmahls herausgegeben | von | Georg Wolfgang Knorr | berühmten Kupfrestecher in Nürnberg, | fortgetzet | von | Dessen Erben, | beschrieben | von | Philipp Ludwig Statius Müller | öffentlichen ordentlichen Lehrer der Weltweißheit auf der Friedrichs Universität zu Erlang, | un in das Französische übersetzet | von | Matthäus Verdier de la Blaquiere | Hochfürstlichen Bayrenthischen Landschafftsrathe. | [rule] | Nünberg, A. 1766.

2 parts. [Part 1: 1754] 2°: [26], [i]-viii, [1]-132 p., 38 hand-colored plates. Additional engraved title page dated 1754. [Part 2: 1766] 2°: [4], [i]-xix, [1], [1]-144 p., colored frontispiece, 53 colored plates (one folding). Page size: 505 x 355 mm.

Plates: [Part I] 15 plates of coral numbered A, AI-AXIV. 7 plates of shells numbered B, BI-BVI. 6 plates of butterflies numbered C, CI-CV. 4 plates of sea-apples numbered D, DI-DIII. 6 plates of minerals and metals numbered E, EI-EV.

[Part II] 7 plates of lobsters and insects numbered F, FI-FVI. 4 plates of molusca numbered G, GI-GIII. 9 plates of fishes numbered H, HI-HVIII. 7 plates of birds numbered I, I-VI. 14 plates of mammals numbered K, KI-KXIII. 12 plates of reptiles numbered L, LI-LXI.

Rare. First appearance of this magnificently illustrated and popular natural history book. The work's purpose was to accurately describe and show the contents of a typical private museum or `Wunderkammer' of the time. A descriptive text in German was prepared by Philipp Ludwig Statius Muller [see note below] and it describes each rendered specimen, including anecdotes and interesting observations but little true science. A long list of citations to naturalists of the 16th to 18th centuries is given in the preliminaries, including Linneaus' Systema Naturæ, which is not followed. To appeal the book to a wider market, Knorr incorporated a French translation of the text by Mathieu Verdier de La Blaquière [?-1769] into parallel columns within the book. However, the lasting value and desirability of the book are the 91 truly magnificent folio size hand-colored engraved plates showing a wide variety of specimens, including corals, shells, butterflies, minerals, metals, spiders, fish, birds, animals and reptiles. These plates prepared under Knorr's supervision are among his finest productions at a time when Knorr was perhaps the leading publisher of such plates. Often it is said that the beauty of these illustrations exceeds that of the models, which is why copies of this work are frequently broken.

This is true of the six mineralogical plates that are among the best representations of hand-colored mineral illustrations ever produced. A total of about seventy specimens are rendered, including a fine azurite, whose intense blue color is derived from the inclusion of crushed lapis lazuli in the pigment and a large hematite spike that was illustrated several times in other books over the next two centuries.

In the 18th century, Nuremberg became a leading center in the publication of finely illustrated natural history books. This was due in large part to the influence of J. Trew, a wealthy Nuremberg physician, who gathered around him leading scientists and artists. Trew's natural history cabinet and menagerie stimulated others in his circle to build their own collections, and it is from this source material that Knorr has drawn upon to illustrate the Deliciæ Naturæ Selectæ. This is indicated on the plates by text indicating from which collection the illustrated specimens were obtained. Trew is mentioned many times but so are P.L.S. Muller, D. Schadelock and Knorr himself.

Bibliographically, the Deleciæ was originally published in two parts. The first appeared in 1754 with 38 plates, including an additional engraved title page dated that year. In 1766, the second part containing the reaming 53 plates appeared. This has caused some bibliographers to suggest the work made two separate appearances, 1754 and 1766. However, this is not the case.

Philipus Ludovicus Statius Muller. (Born: Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, 25 April 1725; Died: Erlangen, Germany, 5 January 1776) Dutch theologian & naturalist. Statius Muller was a Lutheran cleryman at Amersfoort (1745-1749) and at Leeuwarden until 1756. He then accepted a position as professor of natural history at the University of Erlangen. He possessed a natural history cabinet containing many animals, some of which were depiced in Knorr's Deliciæ Naturæ Selectæ, which Statius Muller translated into Dutch.

Bibliographical references: BL [457.g.6,7. & 44.k.1.]. Darmstädter, Steinbücher, 1934: p. 272. Ludwig, Nürnberger Naturgeschichtliche Malerei, 1998: p. 172-4. Murray, Museums, 1904: p. 310. Nissen (ZBI): no. 2227. NUC: 300, 517-8. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 2, 405. (Statius Muller) Aa, Biographisch Woordenboek, 1852-78. BAB: 481, 312-321 / 644, 284. Engel, Dutch Zoological Cabinets, 1986: no. 1469. Kobus, Biographisch Woordenboek, 1886. Kooiman, W.J., Philippus Lodovicus Statius Muller. [Amsterdam,] 1950. 50 p. NNBW: 9, cols. 701-2. WBI.

2. German & French, 1779 [2nd edition].
Delices de la Nature ou Choix de tout ce que les Trois Regnes de la Nature Renferment de plus digne des recherches d'un curieux pour en former un Cabinet; ourvage commiqué di-devant au public par George Wolfgang Knorr ... Continue par ses héritiers avec les descriptions et remarques de Philippe Louis Statius Müller. Revu, corrigé et augmenté d'une préface par Mr. Jean Ernest Emanuel Walch. Traduit del'allemand par Jaques Frederic Isenflamm ... Nuremberg, Ches les Héritiers de feu G.W. Knorr, 1779.

2 vols. [Vol 1] 2°: xiv, 96 p., color frontispiece by I.A. Eisenmann after I.E. Ihle, engraved portrait of Knorr by I.A. Schweikart after Ihle. [Vol 2] 2°: xx, 108, [4] index p., 91 color plates. Text in double-column, with engraved vignette at the beginning of each volume.

Rare. Best French edition, considerably augmented and corrected from the text of the first appearance of [1754-] 1766. The text has been retranslated by Jakob Friedrich Isenflamm [see note below], and this treatment is considered the better of the two. This edition is the first to include the new preface by J.E.I. Walch, and other material. In addition to the plates of the first edition, this work has an fine engraved portrait of Knorr.

Jakob Friedrich Isenflamm. (Born: Vienna, Austria, 21 September 1726; Died: Erlangen, Germany, 23 February 1793) Austrian physician & botanist. Isenflamm received his M.D. from the University of Erlangen in 1749. From 1750 to 1762, he returned to Vienna, where he opened a successful medical practice. in 1762, he made a trip of scientific discovery through Holland and France, and was named in 1763 ordinary professor of medicine and anatomy at the University of Erlangen. He authored many publications, but nothing that is considered a great work. He also translated many German publications into French.

Bibliographical references: Brunet: 3, 682. Nissen (ZBI): no. 2228. NUC: 300, 517-8. (Isenflamm) ADB: 13, 630. Baldinger, Biographien Ärzte, 1768-71: 1, pt. 4, 191. DBA: I 590, 246-324; II 638, 416. Hirsch, Biographisches Lexikon, 1884-8: 3, 348. Meusel, Verstorbenen Teutschen Schrifsteller, 1802-16. WBI. Wurzbach, Biographisches Lexikon Österreich, 1856-91.

3. Dutch, 1771 [Dutch transl.].
Deliciae Naturae Selectae, of Uitgeleezen Kabinet van Natuurlyke Zeldzaamheden; welke drie ryken der natuur aanbieden, om door keurige liefhebberen verzameld te worden, wel eer uitgegeven door Geroge Wolfgang Knoor, beroemd graveur en konsthandelaar te Neurenberg, en vervolgd door zyne erven; eerst in de hoogduitsche taal beschreeven, en nu in het nederduitsch overgezet en met aanmerkingen vermeerderd door Philip Ludwigh Statius Müller, doctor in de philosophie, professor der natuurlyke histori, fraaye wetenschappen en duitsche litteratur \sic alsmede opper-bibliothecaris op de hooge schoole te Erlang, en medelid van de koninglyke academie der natuur-onderzoekers, enz. enz. eerste [-tweede] deel. Te Dordrecht, By Abraham Blussé en Zoon, M.DCC.LXXI.

2 parts. [Part I] 2°: [6], [I]-XXXII, [1]-67, [1] p., 38 hand-colored plates. [Part II] 2°: [2], [I]-XX, XXXIV, [1]-70 p., 53 hand-colored plates. One hand-colored engraved additional frontispiece by R. Muys. Page size: 355 x 550 mm.

Contents: [Part I] [2 pgs], Hand-colored frontispiece, signed R. Muys, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1 pg], Dedication by the publisher Blussé to Johan François van Hogendrop.; [1 pg], Blank.; [I]-XII, "Voorrede."; [XIII]-XVI, List of subscribers, listing 91 names for 99 copies, including A. Baster, W. van der Meulen, A. Vosmaer and J.C. Sepp.; [XVII]-XXXII, "Alphabetische Lyst der Autheuren" [=List of authors mentioned].; [67 pgs], Text.; [1 pg], Blank.; [At end], 38 hand-colored plates.

[Part II] [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [I]-XX, XXV-XXXIV, "Voorrede."-dated 10 February 1770.; [70 pgs], Text.; [At end], 53 hand-colored plates.

Plates: [Part I] Hand-colored frontispiece, signed R. Muys. 15 plates of coral numbered A, AI-AXIV. 7 plates of shells numbered B, BI-BVI. 6 plates of butterflies numbered C, CI-CV. 4 plates of sea-apples numbered D, DI-DIII. 6 plates of minerals and metals numbered E, EI-EV.

[Part II] 7 plates of lobsters and insects numbered F, FI-FVI. 4 plates of molusca numbered G, GI-GIII. 9 plates of fishes numbered H, HI-HVIII. 7 plates of birds numbered I, I-VI. 14 plates of mammals numbered K, KI-KXIII. 12 plates of reptiles numbered L, LI-LXI.

Rare. Dutch translation by Ph. L. Statius Muller [see note below] of Deliciae Naturae Selectae, oder auserlesenes Naturalien Cabinet (2 vols., Nürnberg, [1754]-66) and utilizing the same plates as the original edition. In the preliminaries there is a list of subscribers containing 91 names for 99 copies.

Philipus Ludovicus Statius Muller. (Born: Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, 25 April 1725; Died: Erlangen, Germany, 5 January 1776) Dutch theologian & naturalist. Statius Muller was a Lutheran cleryman at Amersfoort (1745-1749) and at Leeuwarden until 1756. He then accepted a position as professor of natural history at the University of Erlangen. He possessed a natural history cabinet containing many animals, some of which were depiced in Knorr's Deliciæ Naturæ Selectæ, which Statius Muller translated into Dutch.

Bibliographical references: Landwehr, Studies in Dutch Books, 1976: no. 97. Nissen (ZBI): no. 2229. NUC: 300, 517-8. Pietsch, History of Ichthyology, 1995. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 2, 405. (Statius Muller) Aa, Biographisch Woordenboek, 1852-78. BAB: 481, 312-321 / 644, 284. Engel, Dutch Zoological Cabinets, 1986: no. 1469. Kobus, Biographisch Woordenboek, 1886. Kooiman, W.J., Philippus Lodovicus Statius Muller. [Amsterdam,] 1950. 50 p. NNBW: 9, cols. 701-2. WBI.

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