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BAIER, Johann Jakob.

(1677 – 1735)

(Born: Jena, Germany, 14 June 1677; Died: Altdorf near Nuremberg, Franconia, (modern-day Bavaria) Germany, 14 July 1735) German physician & naturalist.

Baier was the father of Ferdinand Jacob Baier. He was educated at Jena and Halle, becoming professor of medicine at Altdorf University in 1704. In 1731, he was appointed personal physician to the Emperor. Baier was elected a member and ultimately president of the Leopoldina Academy [Academy of Natural Scientists].

Biographical references: ADB: 1, 774. Catalogue of Portraits of Naturalists: 137-8 [5 portraits listed]. DBA: I 50, 200-215. Drugulin, Sechstausend Portraits, 1863: nos. 212-7. DSB: 1, 392-3 [by B.v. Freyberg]. Hamberger & Meusel, Gelehrte Teutschland, 1796-1834. Lambrecht & Quenstedt, Catalogus, 1938: 17. NDB: 1, 543 [by A. Kreiner]. Poggendorff: 1, col. 88. Sarjeant, Geologists, Suppl. 1, 1986: 1, 265-6. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 256. WBI. Will, Nürnbergisches Gelehrten-Lexicon, 1755-1808. World Who's Who in Science: 87.

Oryctographia Norica, 1708

1. Latin, 1708 [First edition].
Joh. Jacobi Bajeri | Philos. et Med. D. Hvjvsqve in Acad. | Altdorf. Prof. Pvbl. | Illvstr. Reip. Norimb. Physici | OPYKTOΓΡΑΦΙΑ | Norica, | sive | Rervm Fossilivm | et | Ad Minerale Regnvm | Pertinentivm, | in | Territorio Norimbergensi | Ejvsqve Vicinia Observatarvm | Svccincta | Descripto. | Cvm Iconibvs Lapidvm Figvratorvm | Fere Dvcentis. | [ornate rule] | Norimbergæ, | Impensis Wolfgangi Michahellis, Bibliopolæ. | Anno MDCIIX.

4°: π4 )()(1 A-M4 N3; 56l.; [10], 1-102 p., added engraved title page, 6 folding plates (showing fossils, fossils shells and minerals), tables. Page size: 194 x 156 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Engraved title page, verso "In Frontem Libri."; [2 pgs], Printed title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs], Dedication, signed Joh. Jacobvs Bajervs.; [2 pgs], "Præfatio | Ad Lectorem."; 1-95, Text.; 96, "Syllabvs Capitvm."; 97-102, "Index."; [At end], 6 plates.

Rare. A classic work on the fossils and some minerals found in the region surrounding the city of Nürnberg in Germany. Baier's Oryctographia Norica was a new, systematic attempt to organize the natural mineral objects he found around his home city into a coherent classification. Baier did not believe in sweeping theoretical pronouncments, instead the specimens are fully described with many of the most interesting fossils depicted on the finely engraved plates. By this means he laid the foundation for the investigation of Jurassic fauna and of scientific paleontology in general and help disprove the notion that fossils were simple jests of nature. He clearly indicates that these fossils were created in the single act of the Deluge, which he considered the only great change since the Creation. The foundation Baier thus created, helped prepare the path for subsequent researchers to see the world differently and look past the myth and create through thorough observation the science of geology.

The frontispiece depicts a beach with putti presenting Cybele with baskets of ammonites, fossil echinoderms, belemnites, etc., while Neptune rides on a shell on the sea surrounded by naiads bearing baskets of shells; i.e. the affinities of the living and fossil forms. This and the six plates (which figure some 300 fossils) are the work of J.G. Puschner.

Baier clearly states in his forword that supplemental volumes will appear to expand on the Oryctographia Norica, but time considerations in his life only allowed him to publish the rare 1730 supplement. However, at the time of his death, he had left material enough to allow his son Ferdinand to issue an additional supplemental volume in 1757. The publication of this, probably caused enough interest that the following year, 1758, Ferdinand issued what should be considered a rare second edition of the Oryctographia Norica, with a reworking of his father's original text, and a small number of plates.

German, 1958: An excellent modern German translation with extensive commentary of Oryktographia Norica and its 1730 supplemental volume appears in Erlanger Geologische Abhandlungen, 29 (1958), [1]-133 p. Besides a good introduction, there is included biographical information, much data of a historical interest, reproductions of the title pages, text figures and reproductions of the plates.

Ferdinand Jakob Baier. (Born: Altdorf, Germany, 13 February 1707; Died: Ansbach, Germany, 23 October 1788) German physician. Baier was the son of Johann Jacob Baier. He had a medical practice in Nurnburg, Germany. He was elected a member, later becoming president, of the Leopoldina Academy [Academy of Natural Scientists].

Bibliographical references: BL [458.a.11.]. BMC: 1, 85. Hoover Collection: no. 75. LKG: XIV 92. Nissen (ZBI): no. 189. NUC: 30, 439-40 [NB 0037820]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 70. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 97. (Baier) DBA: I 50, 172-182. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1750-51. Meusel, Verstorbenen Teutschen Schrifsteller, 1802-16. Poggendorff: 1, col. 88. WBI. Will, Nürnbergisches Gelehrten-Lexicon, 1755-1808.

2. Latin, 1730 [Supplement].
Io. Iac. Baieri | [...7 lines of titles and memberships...] | Sciagraphia | Mvsei Svi | Accedvnt | Svpplementa | Oryctographiae | Noricae | Cvm Fig. AEn. | [rule] | Norimbergae | Apvd Haeredes W.M. Endteri Et I.A. Engel- | brechti Vidvam | A.S.R. cI[Backwards C] I[Backwards C] ccxxx.

4°: )(2 A3 B-G4 H5; 34l.; [2], [1]-64, [2] p., 3 plates (one folding).

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [1-2], Dedication to Io. Henrico Linkio.; [3 plates].; [3]-26, Text.; 27-64, Text, "Svpplementa | Oryctographiae | Noricae."; [2 pgs], "Index."

Very rare. First supplement to Oryktographia Norica (Norimbergæ, 1708). It was published as a volume of the main orcale of the Leopoldina Academy to which Baier had been elected president in 1730. (see: Acta Physico-Medica Academiæ Cæs. Leopoldino-Carolinæ Naturæ Curiosorum, 2 (1730)).

Bibliographical references: BL [726.c.2.]. BMC: 1, 85. Hoover Collection: no. 77. LKG: XIV 93a. NUC: 30, 339-40 [NB 0037826]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 70. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 98.

3. Latin, 1758 [2nd suppl.].
Ioannis Iacobi Baieri | Monvmenta | Rervm | Petrificatarvm | Præcipva | Oryctographiæ Norica | Svpplementi Loco Ivngenda | Interprete Filio | Ferdinando Iacobo Baiero | Cvm Tabvlis Æneis Qvindecim. | [ornament] | [ornate rule] | Norimbergæ | in Commissione Georgii Lichtenstegeri | Calcographi | A.R.S. {\rscapsrm cI[Backwards C] I[Backwards C] cclvii}.

2°: )(2 A-E2; 12l.; [4], [1]-20 p., 15 plates (6 folding).

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso "Senca de Tranquillitate Animi p.m. 148. | ..."; [2 pgs], "Præfatio:"; [1]-20, Text.; [At end], 15 plates.

Very rare. "Johann Baier, the Altdorf professor, published in 1712 his Oryctographica Norica, one of the best works of the time, and in 1757 a supplement of fifteen folio plates was added under the direction of his son Ferdinand" (Zittle, 1901). Each plate is folded in half within the volume. The finely drawn plates are of fossil fish, molluscs and crustaceans.

Bibliographical references: BL [B.267*.(9.)]. Hoover Collection: no. 74. NUC: 30, 439-40 [NB 0037817]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 70. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 99. Zittel, History of Geology, 1901: p. 21.

Oryctographia Norica, 1758

4. Latin, 1758 [2nd edition].
Ioannis Iacobi Baieri | Oryctographia Norica | Sive | Rervm Fosslivm | Et | Ad Minerale Regnvm Pertinentivm | In | Territorio Norimbergensi | Eivsqve Vicinia Observatarvm | Svccincta Descriptio | Cvm Svpplementis A. cI[Backwards C] I[Backwards C] ccxxx | Editis. | [vignette] | Recvsa Norimbergæ A.R.S. cI[Backwards C] I[Backwards C] cclviii. | In Commissione Wolffgangi Schwarzkopffii.

2°: )(2 A-R2; 36l.; [4], [1]-65, [3] p., 8 plates (showing fossil shells), title vignette. Page size: 370 x 214 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso "In Frontem Libri. | ..."; [2 pgs], "Lectori Benevolo."; [1]-65, Text.; [3 pgs], "Index."; [At end], 8 plates.

Rare. Edited by Ferdinando Jacobo Baier this appears to be a reworking of the original text of the Oryctograhia Norica, together with a small number of previously published plates. `

Bibliographical references: BL [B.267*.(8.)]. BMC: 1, 85. Hoover Collection: no. 76. NUC: 30, 339-40 [NB 0037822]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 70.

5. Latin, 1760.
Ioannis Iacobi Baieri Epistolæ ad viros eruditos eorundemque responsiones historiam literariam et physicam specialem explanantes curante filio Ferdinando Iacobo Baiero cum tab. ænea. Francofurti; Lipsiæ, Sumptibus Editoris, 1760.

8°: )(4 A-Gg8; 128l.; [8], [1]-242, 6 p.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso six lines of text.; [3 pgs], Dedication.; [1 pg], "Præfation."; [2 pgs], "Nomina | Virorum Celeberrimorum."; [1]-242, Text.; [6 pgs], Index.

Rare. Edited by Ferdinand Jacob Baier [1707-1788] the text reproduces some of the correspondence of Johann Jakob Baier.

Bibliographical references: BL [461.b.26.]. LKG: VI 35. NUC: 30, 439-30 [NB 0037813]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 70.