Fredrich Wilhelm Martini 1785 Cochlea minutisfimae ope microscopii auctae Small Snail Shells

Catalog Number 49671
Back to List

Artist Biography:

Friedrich Wilhelm Martini[1729-1780] was a German physician and conchologist. Martini conceived the idea of publishing the first large-scale encyclopedia of shells illustrated with hand-colored plates. His ambition was to describe and portray every kind of shell known, an ambition which was impossible to fulfil. Soon after the third volume of the 'Neues Systematisches Conchylien-Cabinet' was in print Martini died. The publication was continued by Johann Hieronymus Chemnitz, a Danish clergyman who, between 1779 and 1795, added a further eight volumes". The portrayed shells come from famous 'wunderkammer' collections of Kings and nobility, as well as wealthy merchants, such as the museum of Lorenz Spengler, cabinet maker of the King of Denmark; the museum of the King of Denmark, King Frederic V, an avid shell collector; the museum of Count A.G. Molke, who had one of the finest shell collections in Europe, many from the famous Seba collection; the museum of J.F. Bolten, who had worked out a new system of conchology; the museum of J.S. Schröter; the museum of Madame de Blandeville; the museum of Abraham Gevers, burgomaster of Rotterdam, who had one of the finest collections in the Netherlands; the museum of Empress of Austria, Maria Thesesia, who had a large shell collection in Vienna, which was described in a sumptuous folio by Baron Ignatius von Born; as well as the very extensive collections of Martini, in the first three volumes, and of Chemnitz in the other volumes.




Neues Systematisches Conchylien-Cabinet



Plate No.:

Tab 113 Fig. 966 - 973


Cochlea minutisfimae ope microscopii auctae [Small Snail Shells]

Print Method:

Copperplate Engraving on Chain-linked, Watermarked paper and Original Hand-Coloring.


Overall Excellent

Size of Print:

29.4 x 23.0 cm. approximately [12.25 x 8.75 in.]

Size of Leaf:

29.4 x 23.0 cm. approximately [12.25 x 8.75 in.]


Nissen ZBI, 2722; B.M. (Nat. Hist.) III, 1252; Dance, Shells pg. 24

Facebook Twitter