ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT Autograph Envelope Signed.
German naturalist, geographer and explorer.
Autograph envelope with 12 short lines of text in the hand of Von Humboldt, signed. Addressed to Dr. Rumker at the Observatory, the School of Navigation in Hamburg. Mentioning two other gentlemen and giving his address in Paris.
Measures approx. 5.5 x 4.75 inches. Two horizontal creases. The verso has his red sealing-wax seal still attached but lacks part of the flap. Slight marking and age toning to edges. Very good.
Alexander von Humboldt was a pioneer of bio-geography. He travelled extensively in South America between 1799 and 1804 and was the first to compile botanical and geographic notes on his observations in a truly modern and scientific way. Many species are named after him. He was also the first to postulate that the continents of South America and Africa had once been joined. In a letter to Joseph Dalton Hooker, Charles Darwin called Von Humboldt "the greatest scientific traveller who ever lived". Autograph material by Von Humboldt is scarce.
Carl Ludwig Christian Rumker (1788-1862) was a German astronomer who, after travelling in Australia, became the director of the new Hamburg Observatory from 1830 to 1857. Consequently, von Humboldt's letter must date from this period, which also coincides with his time spent in Paris.