MALM, Auguste Wilhelm (1821-1882)
Monographie Illustrée du Baleinoptère trouvé le 29 Octobre 1865 sur la Côte Occidentale de Suède
Stockholm: P. A. Norstedt et Fils, Imprimeurs de Roi, 1867. Folio. (16 1/4 x 11 inches). xxiii, , , 110pp. 29 albumen photographs mounted onto 18 sheets, 2 lithographed plates. (Minor foxing to the text) [With:] Illustrerad Tidning. Stockholm, 30. June 1866. 4 unnumb. leaves with a few text illustrations. Folded. Newspaper containing a long article about the whale with heading Malmska hvalen. [And with:] Nagra Blad om Hvaldjur i Allmanhet och Balaenoptera Carolinae. Goteborg, 1866. 20pp. Publisher's yellow illustrated wrappers.
Publisher's blue cloth, covers elaborately blocked in blind, upper cover titled in gilt, flat spine lettered in gilt
Rare photographically illustrated monograph on the blue whale and an inadvertent photographic work of art: one of only fifty copies produced.
In 1865, a 16-meter blue whale beached outside the town of Näset, south of Gothenburg. This rare work, limited to just fifty copies, documents and photographically illustrates the whale being brought onto land, its scientific measurement and elaborate dissection. Malm, curator at the Göteborg Museum of Natural History, with great difficulty, transformed this whale into the renowned Malmska valen, the only stuffed blue whale in the world, still on view today.
The ten photographs depict the whale on the dock at Lindholmen after it was brought in, towed by three steamers and two coal barges. The following 16 plates show various dissections, each carefully labelled and identified. The final image is a photograph of a model created by Malm. The photographs were likely taken by J. P. Peterson, Göteborgs Musei Fotografiska Atelier.
Malm's monograph is very rare, with the only other example we have been able to trace on the market being in the Barbara Johnson Whaling Collection, selling in 1996.