1. Jacob Theodor Klein, Stemmata avium = Geschlechtstafeln der Vögel, Leipzig: Adam Heinrich Holle, 1759
Jacob Theodor Klein (1685-1759) was from Königsberg but spent most of his adult life in Gdańsk. He founded the botanical garden and greenhouses in the Długie Ogrody (Long Gardens) district of Gdańsk. He owned a rich collection of natural specimens. The book presented here is his work on birds published in Leipzig. It is aimed not only at scientists but also at the general public (of both sexes, as Klein points out in the introduction) and was published bilingually (in Latin and in German). A glossary, which also gives Polish names of the birds, was added at the end. The plate shows a kingfisher of the subspecies ispida.
2. Andreas Christlieb Dittmann, Nachleese zu denen Bibel erlauternden Kupfer welche in Danzig von 1756. bis 1760, Gdańsk: Thomas Johann Schreiber, 1767.
Andreas Christlieb Dittmann (1710–1767) was a trained theologian but was interested in natural history and collected natural objects. He used his collection to compose his largest work, Bibelerläuternde Kupfer. These were commentaries on various biblical and natural history issues (he had no problem treating them together, after all, the Bible is full of plants and animals), decorated with full-page engravings that Dittmann made himself.
3 – 5 Georges Louis Leclerc Buffon, Naturgeschichte der Vögel, Berlin: Joachim Pauli 1772-1809.
Buffon began writing the part of the Histoire naturelle on birds in 1760, after completing a series on quadrupeds. Although he wanted the edition to be decorated with colored plates (and this was still handwork at the time), he expected to finish the work in three years. Because of this hurry, he made
the controversial decision to describe birds in larger groups rather than species by species, and he also decided to deal with exotic birds first. Native species he wanted to describe only as space permitted. The book was received with enthusiasm, despite the dissatisfaction of some ornithologists, and was translated into many European languages. Illustrations include birds of the Viduidae family, fantail pigeons and a great blue heron with a lizard in its beak.