Only Real Quills

Save beauty from oblivion.

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Johann Jakob Scheuchzer, mathematician, physician, physicist, paleontologist, and Royal Society naturalist, published his Itinera per Helvetiæ alpinas regiones facta annis 1702–11 to detail his extensive explorations of Switzerland. Among its lovely illustrations are some notable plates illustrating the dragons which were purported to inhabit the region, spooking travelers and absconding with local sheep. Though the existence of these Alpine dragons has been discredited, recent discovery of the “Chicken from Hell” (Anzu wyliei) makes his depiction of this fowlish creature with its beaked face and plumed crown, seem plausible. Perhaps the next major paleontological discovery may also be found in the renderings of Scheuchzer’s Swiss dragons; like this terrifyingly buff cat-faced dragon.

Johann Jakob Scheuchzer, 1672-1733. Ouresiphoítes helveticus, sive Itinera per Helvetiæ alpinas regiones facta … Plurimis tabulis æneis illustrata á Johanne Jacobo Scheuchzero; In quatuor tomos distincta. Lugduni Batavorum, typis ac sumptibus P. vander Aa, 1723. 

Swi 607.23 

Houghton Library, Harvard University

In Vol. 2, Book 3, plates opposite pages 379 and 395, respectively. 

(via blackpaint20)