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1891 Wood Engraving Olliff Whymper Entomology Pleuroneces Montanus Andes XGZA1

1891 Wood Engraving Olliff Whymper Entomology Pleuroneces Montanus Andes XGZA1

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This is an original 1891 black and white wood engraving of the Pleuroneces Montanus discovered by A. Sidney Olliff in the Andes Mountains and documented by Edward Whymper.


This 120+ year old Item is rated Near Mint / Very Fine+. Light foxing - left side. No creases. No natural defects.No surface rub.No tears. No water damage.

  • Product Type: Original Wood Engraving; Black / White
  • Grade: Near Mint / Very Fine+
  • Dimensions: Approximately 3 x 3.5 inches; 8 x 9 cm
  • Authentication: Serial-Numbered Certificate of Authenticity w/ Full Provenance
  • Protection: Packaged in a custom archival sleeve with an acid-free black board (great for display, gift-giving, and preservation)

Period Paper is proud to offer a rare, first edition collection of naturalistic grandeur depicting many of the one thousand species of Insecta and Arachnida collected during an expedition exploring the equatorial Andes Mountain range in Ecuador. The samples brought back by fifteen intrepid adventurers led to the discovery of over 131 new insect species that required the creation of fourteen new genera to organize them all. Never has there been such a diverse collection of thoraxes, antennae, and scutellums rendered in such extreme clarity as to fool the mind into thinking the bugs might come alive off the page. Each species was expertly engraved by famous mountaineer and fellow expedition member, Edward Whymper. Illustrators include R. J. Coombs, W. Herbert, W. Purkiss, E. Wilson, and others. To view more images from this collection, please click on the link provided below the condition paragraph.

Edward Whymper

Edward Whymper (1840-1911), the mountaineer, explorer, and illustrator, is remembered for being the first man to successfully ascend the Matterhorn of Switzerland in 1865. Whymper was born in London, England and was the second of eleven children. His elder brother Frederick was also an artist and explorer, and became a celebrated wood engraver, much like Edward. Both had learned to engrave in their fatherÕs studio. In 1860, Edward was commissioned to create a portfolio depicting Professor BonneyÕs ascent of Mont Pelvoux. Whymper became enthralled with mountaineering during this experience, and went on to explore Mont Blanc and the Pennine Alps for himself for the remaining duration of the 1860s.

Whymper had unsuccessfully tried climbing the Matterhorn eight times, but in 1865, met with success with his six other party members. Unfortunately, during the descent, four of the men fell to their deaths, after one of the men slipped and fell onto another.

As an engraver, Whymper was innovative, and had the patience and skills necessary to manipulate the medium and furnish unusually sharp contrast within his pieces. This is extremely difficult to do with wood engravings, and yet Whymper succeeded at it, while maintaining the original pieceÕs composition.

Keywords specific to this image: Peru, Antisanilla, Pinantura, insect, antennae, segmented legs, exoskeleton, shell, carapace