Historical Taxidermic Manuals

When I visited the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin a couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon a small exhibition on taxidermy that is the art (or is it a science?) of preparing vertebrata for museum and other purposes. In several showcases, the makers of the exhibition explained different preparation methods. What fascinated me most was the last section where historical preparation methods were discussed. In the explaining notes the makers mentioned the following historical taxidermic manuals:

1. Philipp Leopold Martin, Atlas zur Praxis der Naturgeschichte. Erster Teil: Taxidermie enthaltend die Lehre vom Sammeln, Präparieren, Präparieren, Konservieren und Ausstopfen der Tiere und ihrer Teile; nebst einem Anhang über Sammeln von Pflanzen, Mineralien und Petrefakten, Weimar:  Bernhard Friedrich Koch 1898.

2. Johann Friedrich Naumann, Taxidermie oder die Lehre Thiere aller Klassen am einfachsten und zweckmässigsten fuer Kabinette auszustopfen und aufzubewahren. Halle: Hemmerde & Schwetschke 1815.  [online]

Naumann (1815), plate 3

In his introduction Naumann also mentions the following manuals which he consulted for his own manual:

3. Karl Philipp Christian Stein, Handbuch des Zubereitens und Aufbewahrens der Thiere aller Klassen. Frankfurt a.M.: Bernhard Koerner 1802. [online]

4. Römer, Anleitung alle Arten natürlicher Coerper, als Saeugethiere, Voegel, Amphibien, Fische, Pflanzen u.s.w. zu sammeln und aufzubewahren. Nebst einer Anweisung, wie Insekten in ihren verschiedenen Verwandlungsepochen zu behandeln sind. Zürich: Drell, Gessner, Fuessli und Comp. 1797. [online]

5. Anonymous, Gründliche Anweisung Vögel auszustopfen und besonders gut zu conserviren. Leipzig: Adam Friedrich Böhme 1788. [online]

My question would be: Do you know other (nineteenth century) taxidermic manuals? I would also be interested in similar manuals for plants and minerals…

To be continued.

Advertisements

6 Responses to “Historical Taxidermic Manuals”

  1. Robert-Jan Wille Says:

    It would be interesting to study museum and laboratory libraries. How many hours did a natural scientist spend in the library in the nineteenth century, reading manuals or articles?

  2. Temminck published a booklet on preparation techniques:
    Voorschrift, hoedanig te handelen met voorwerpen van Natuurlijke Historie, ten einde dezelve behoorlijk te verzenden en voor bederf te bewaren : ten gebruike van het ‘s Rijks Museum van Natuurlijke Historie te Leyden.
    It was intended for the members of the Natuukundige Commissie and other collectors in the field. Temminck was in contact with many people posted in the colonies or in trade posts. Keeping naturalia fresh in the tropics and during their shipment was a major challenge. In order to receive material in fairly good conservation state, Temminck compiled a handful od techniques in this booklet.

  3. bernhard Says:

    thanx for the links!
    I have a similiar source from 1903.
    “Anleitung zum Sammeln zoologischer Objecte für das Naturhistorische Museum in Basel, hrsg. v. d. Direction des naturhistorischen Museums in Basel, Januar 1903.”
    It also gives some insight in to what collectors did in the field. E.g. the above mentioned manual, in a section on how to prepare vertebrate skeletons, explicitly asks collectors NOT to burry the animals in anthills! rather, they should strip the flesh and squirt out the the animal’s brain liquids manually. otherwise small bones get lost or broken. after rincing the skeleton with water to get rid of the blood, they should let it dry in the air – however: out of the reach of cats!

  4. Robert-Jan Says:

    There is a more general guide for ‘dilettanti’ in the colonies who could help out with collecting data and specimen, called ‘De Pionier’, 1891. It was written by the Leiden director of the Ethnological Museum in the contect of the Dutch Society for the Advancement of Science in the Colonies. It has chapters on zoology and botany. But is collecting in general more than specific taxidermy: http://www.archive.org/stream/depionierhandle00kologoog#page/n6/mode/1up

  5. Andreas Weber Says:

    Manuals everywhere. Just came across this one here: Neumeyer, Anleitung zu wissenschaftlichen Beobachtungen auf Reisen. Hannover 1906 (3rd revised edition). Volume I is available online: http://tinyurl.com/3ue2qbk

  6. This one was important:
    Ferdinand von Richthofen: Führer für Forschungsreisende, 1901:
    http://www.archive.org/details/fhrerfrforsc00richuoft
    von Richthofen was Professor for Geopgraphy in Berlin, President of the Gesellschaft für Erdkunde, and influential colonial lobbyist.
    Jürgen Osterhammel wrote a piece on von Richthofen in Archiv für Kulturgeschichte, 69/1 (1987).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: