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Butterfly classification manuscript in the Johann Siegfried Hufnagel schemata tradition

Identifier: MS-GAR-039

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Scope and Contents

Rewritten from dealer description:

This item is a bound, handwritten manuscript with a written and illustrated butterfly classification produced in the schemata tradition of Johann Siegfried Hufnagel. "Tabellen über schmetterling" (Tables about butterflies) is embossed in gold on the spine. The manuscript is divided into three parts: I. Tabelle von den Tagevogeln. II. Tabelle, worinnend die Abendvogel (Sphinges Linnaeis) angezeigt und den vornehmsten Umstiinden nach beschrieben werden. III. Tabelle fiber die Nachtvogel.

The manuscript was handwritten in ink in Germany and includes 10 hand-colored drawings of butterflies pasted on to front and final free endpapers. A nineteenth-century armorial book-plate of Freiherr von Malsen-Ponickau, with shelf mark in ink, is pasted on the inner cover. The first text page includes an ownership inscription by Cordula [... v.?] Ponickau and a stamp. The manuscript begins with a brief general introduction, with the note that Linnaean classification will be followed where present, and that German names will also be given. On the reverse of the first leaf, reference is made to August Christian Kuhn's guide to collecting insects 'Anleitung Insekten zu sammeln', Eisenach, 1773, and his classification of the 'Sommervogel', i.e. butterflies, is copied.

Each entry is divided into eight fields and gives the Latin and German name of the butterfly and its colour and charactistic markings, followed by information on colour and characteristics of the butterfly pupae, location, habitat, season and frequency when either butterfly pupae or butterflies may be found. This classification is very similar indeed, though not totally identical, to Hufnagel's published articles. This manuscript was approximately created in 1780. The creator is unknown.


  • Creation: approximately 1780

Language of Materials

The manuscript contains Latin and German text.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Biographical / Historical

Johann Siegfried Hufnagel (1724-1795) was a German parson and entomologist (lepidopterist). Between 1765 and 1767 Hufnagel published thirteen papers on Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), ten of them during 1766, and all in the journal "Berlinisches Magazin, oder gesammlete [sic] Schriften und Nachrichten für die Liebhaber der Arzneywissenschaft, Naturgeschichte und der angenehmen Wissenschaften überhaupt", one of the learned journals covering a wide range of aspects in the fields of natural history and medicine which had been founded during the 18th century. Eight papers formed a treatment in tabular form of the larger Lepidoptera (mainly the so-called Macrolepidoptera) of the Berlin area which were represented in Hufnagel's collection. Later authors often referred to this series of papers as "Die Tabellen" (the tables). Although many of Hufnagel's names had priority most authors of the early 19th century preferred to ignore them or to consider them as doubtful. It was not until 1844 when Philipp Christoph Zeller published an analysis of Hufnagel's work identifying many species that the names became known to a wider circle of lepidopterists and eventually began to gain acceptance.



0.167 Cubic Feet (1 legal size folder)


Johann Siegfried Hufnagel (1724-1795) was a German parson and entomologist (lepidopterist). This item is a manuscript on the classification of butterflies and moths, in the tradition of the schemata proposed by Hufnagel and illustrated with ten original hand-coloured illustrations of butterflies. The item was once owned by Freiherr von Malsen-Ponickau or Cordula [?] Ponickau, or both. This manuscript was approximately created in 1780. The creator is unknown.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This item was purchased from Susanne Schulz-Falster Rare Books in August 2010.

Processing Information

This item was processed by Annie Tang in May 2016.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the John Work Garrett Library (Evergreen Museum and Library) Repository

4545 N. Charles Street
Baltimore MD 21218 USA