Category Archives: portrait

Heinrich Dohrn: photos

Wolfgang Ludwig Heinrich Dohrn (1838-1913) was born in northern Poland, then part of Prussia. He studied in Stettin and became especially known as malacologist and entomologist.

Through a link on the Wikipedia page we found a cryptic site [1] with photographs which are reproduced here:

The last photo is dated ‘1900’.



Season’s Greetings

Since I became so interested in networks between malacologists in the past, my Season’s Greetings for this year are devoted to this topic. Here you find the original of this card, with further context. But below is the explanation given for those who want to know if they know all these malacologists.

kn2016explanationAnd above (inverted in gray) is the answer on the question “Who is the man whose son can be seen here twice?”…

Eponyms as link: Orbigny and Dupin

Alcide d’Orbigny (1802–1857) was not only a malacologist but devoted much of his time to the study of fossils. He is well-known by his travels to South America and his voluminous paleontological works.


During an inventory of eponyms given by d’Orbigny to other persons, one of the outstanding names was ‘Dupin’, to whom not less than 32 eponyms were dedicated. In d’Orbigny (1842: 377–378) we read under the description of Conoteuthis Dupinianus “La seule espèce connue (…) a été découverte par le docteur Dupin (…) des environs d’Ervy (Aube). La science doit à cet habile observateur un très grand nombre de faits nouveaux. (…) il a réuni (…) l’énorme chiffre de 474 échantillons de Gastéropodes, dont il a bien voulu enricher ma Paléontologie française”. Indeed, d’Orbigny described many new species named after Dupin in this work (1840-1849) and in his Prodrome de paléontologie (1849-1852).

Curious to know more about Dupin, it was possible to find some data in the official journal of Dept. Aube (Anonymous, 1863). Georges Auguste Dupin finished his study medicine in Paris in 1825, and settled in Ervy-le-Châtel. Unfortunately, nothing more is known. Dupin was one of the ‘field collectors’ who trusted his material to d’Orbigny for identification.


Anonymous. 1863. Liste des médecins et officiers de Santé, dans l’ordre de leur inscription à la Préfecture de l’Aube. Annuaire administratief, statistique et commercial du département de l’Aube (1863): 222–227.
d’Orbigny, A. 1842. Mémoire sur deux genres nouveaux de Céphalopodes fossiles (les Conoteuthis et Spirulirostra) offrant des passages, d’un côté entre la Spirule et la Sèche, de l’autre entre les Bélemnites et les Ommastrèphes.  Annales des sciences naturelles (2) 17: 362–367.

Père David (1826-1900): biography, portraits

The priest Père David was born as Jean Pierre Armand David in 1826 as son of a doctor and mayor in a village in southwestern France. After his education in Bayonne he went to Paris to enter the congregation of the ‘Lazaristes’, who were missionaries in non-christian regions. Between 1850 and 1862 he was in a Lazarist cloister near Genua, where he devoted himself to natural sciences.


When in 1861 the Paris zoologist Milne-Edwards asked the cooperation of missionaries to collect animals and plants in – then still unexplored – China, the Lazarists sent Armand David to this country. Once in China he made several large expeditions; in 1866 to Mongolia, in 1868-1870 in central China and Sichuan, and in 1872-1874 in Central and Eastern China.


Probably dating from that time is the following portrait:


During the expedition a large amount of animals and plants were sent to the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris, where the material was studied and new species were described, many with an eponym after Père David (e.g. Davidia involucrata, Buddleja davidii), but of course also to other contacts of the describing author (e.g. Bulimus baudoni Deshayes, 1870).

In 1874 he returned to France, where he settled down in the headquarters of the congregation in Paris. He published on his expeditions, and also a large work on the birds of China. The following portrait was made by the photographer Ferdinand Bérillon (a malacologist himself) in Bayonne in 1884.



The back side of this photo tells the whole summary of his life…


[1] Unknown date. Le Père David.
[2] Wikipedia.
[3] BnF / Gallica.

Deshayes, GP. 1870. Diagnoses d’espèces nouvelles de mollusques terrestres et fluviatiles de la principauté de Moupin, Thibet oriental envoyées au Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris par M. l’Abbé Armand David missionaire. Bulletin des Nouvelles Archives du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle de Paris 6:19-27.