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C18

Link: linnaeus.c18.net/Letter/L3505 • Clas Alströmer to Carl Linnaeus, 1 December 1764 n.s.
Dated 1 December 1764. Sent from Alingsås (Sweden) to Uppsala (Sweden). Written in Swedish.

upSUMMARY

Clas AlströmerAlströmer, Clas
(1736-1794). Swedish. Baron,
industrialist. Sent plants and specimens
to Linnaeus from his travels abroad.
Bought Linnaeus’s “little herbarium”,
now in the Natural History Museum in
Stockholm. Son of Jonas Alströmer,
brother of August, Johan and Patrick
Alströmer. Correspondent of
Linnaeus
would be happy if he, at least partly, could live up to Linnaeus’s flattering judgements in his last letter [this letter has not come down to us] as well as in all his letters to Alströmer.

The first he shall do upon arrival in Stockholm will be to visit Linnaeus.

In the Gothenburg warehouse Alströmer found his boxes from Venice containing packages meant for Linnaeus. — Alströmer’s mother [Hedvig Elisabet AlströmerAlströmer, Hedvig Elisabet
(1716-1806). Swedish. Wife of Jonas
Alströmer.
] thanks for all Linnaeus’s trouble with the portrait.

Alströmer then gives a description of Johannes Burman’sBurman, Johannes (1707-1779).
Dutch. Botanist, professor of medicine
in Amsterdam. Close friend of Linnaeus.
Correspondent of Linnaeus.
Simia.

Body densely hirsute and almost as large as S. Sylvanus, but thinner and lighter.

Head almost round with a short nose. {p Face hairy. Forehead round with hair of equal colour and length as that on the body. The areas around the eyes are naked. Upper eyelid immobile without cilia. Eyes round. Iris circular and yellow with round and black pupilla. Cheeks somewhat protruding, hairy like the body. The upper and lower lips and the chin are covered with quite short whitish hair and among them a few stiff, black, inch-long vibrizae. The nose is depressed but convex, not as protruding as the mouth, and covered with short white hair. The nasal septum protrudes more than the alae.

Upper lip protruding, not vertical. Ears just like a human’s, naked except for a few stiff hairs on the back side.

Tail longer than the body, of uniform thickness, the end as if squarely cut off, covered with short black hair.

Palms like human hands. Thumbs proportionally shorter, the tips level with the first joint of the other fingers, hairy on the outside. Nails of all fingers black, like humans.

Plantae have 5 fingers, but longer than the ones on the palmae with the same type of nails and hair growth. The thumbs were much longer than those on the palmae and widely splayed medially, with a lose flap of skin connecting it with the second digit.

Nates were not to be seen. The rear end of the body was rather thin.

The male genitalia unremarkable.

The colour were all the same. Which means black and light ashen grey, finely and evenly speckled. This diversity of colour comes from the fact that every single hair is black with 2, 3 or 4 transversal fasciae of a light straw colour. Cauda, Brachia, Manus, Plantae and Pectus black. The dorsal part of the neck is darker than the Dorsum. {p Dentes Canini 2 times as long as the rest.

It nodded and moved the head frequently and irregularly. Amusing and playful, it ate different vegetables and with greatest eagerness spiders’ eggs.

Lives in Guinea in Africa.

Alströmer then gives a description of another Simia shown for money in Berlin. Alströmer had an oil painting made of this animal for Linnaeus to study, trying to find different specific characteristics as neither S. Sphinx or S. Apedia are better known to him, than what he can find in the Systema naturae, 10th editionLinnaeus, Carl Systema
naturae
, 10th edition (Stockholm
1758-1759). Soulsby no. 58.
. [The description, fol. 107-108, was published in "Beskrifning på en sällsam babian"Alströmer, Clas
"Beskrifning på en
sällsam babian. : Simia
mormon", KVAH 27 (1766),
138-147.
].

upMANUSCRIPTS

a. (LS, I, 105-108). [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

upEDITIONS

1. Bref och skrifvelser (1909), vol. I:3, p. 74-76   p.74  p.75  p.76.