Deense houting – Markus Elieser Bloch, 1782-1795

THE MARAENA WHITEFISH “Salmo Maraena/Die grosse Maraene/La grande Marêne” (plate 57), copper engraving made by Ludwig Schmidt after the drawing…

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Salmo Maraena/Die grosse Maraene/La grande Marêne” (plate 57), copper engraving made by Ludwig Schmidt after the drawing of Krüger jr, for Markus Elieser Bloch’s “Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische” published in Berlin between 1782 and 1795. With original hand colouring. Size: 19 x 38 cm.

Bloch’s work on the “Allgemeine Naturgeschichte der Fische” occupied a considerable portion of his life, and is considered to have laid the foundations of the science of ichthyology. The publication was encouraged by a large subscription, and it passed rapidly through five editions in German and in French. Bloch made little or no alteration in the systematic arrangement of Peter Artedi and Carl Linnaeus, although he was disposed to introduce into the classification some modifications depending on the structure of the gills. To the number of genera before established, he found it necessary to add nineteen new ones, and he described 276 species new to science, many of them inhabitants of the remotest parts of the ocean, and by the brilliancy of their colours, or the singularity of their forms, as much objects of popular admiration as of scientific curiosity.

Bloch is considered the most important ichthyologist of the 18th century.

Salmo Maraena -first described by Bloch- nowadays Coregonus maraena, referred to in English as the maraene, maraena whitefish or the whitefish, is a whitefish of the family Salmonidae that occurs in the Baltic Sea basin – in the sea itself and the inflowing rivers, and in several lakes as landlocked populations. As of 2013, it has been listed as an endangered species. It is an extremely important fish within the Baltic Sea ecosystem, both for population equilibrium and for the local diets of the surrounding human population. Due to a variety of factors, mostly overfishing, the maraena’s population dwindled to near-extinction levels.

Price: Euro 350,-