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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 08:33   #1
Calalp
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Besecke's invalid hummingbird

Following the trails of "Prince Adalbert of Prussia" I came across this almost totally unknown "guy" (not included in my MS, thereby not thoroughly checked, however) commemorated in the eponym ...

beskii as in:
• the invalid hummingbird "Cephalolepis beskii" von PELZELN 1868 (here) [synonym of Green-crested Plovercrest Stephanoxis lalandi VIEILLOT 1818]:
Quote:
Von der hier geschilderten Species erhielt unsere Sammlung ein Exemplar von Herrn B e s k e aus Brasilien und ich glaubte die Beschreibung desselben, obgleich es nicht von N a t t e r e r s Expedition herrührt, doch als eine Bereicherung der brasilischen Vogelfauna hier veröffentlichen zu sollen.
= the US natural history dealer, feather trader Mr. Besecke a k a Beske or Beseke, collector in Africa and Brazil, in 1849 described as "young Besecke" ... (of German Heritage, his father seems to have been born in Berlin, but emigrated to North America, where the son was born).

See the following links; here, here, here and here ... and onwards. No first names found. Nor any years (of birth vs death).

Today's HBW Alive Key explains this eponym as:
Quote:
beskii
J. M. G. Beseke (commonly written Beske) (fl. 1860) German naturalist, dealer resident in Nova Friburgo, Brazil (syn. Stephanoxis lalandi).
Anyone know anything additional on this guy?

And don´t hesitate to prove me wrong/otherwise!

Either way: enjoy!

Björn

Not to confuse with the earlier (J.M.G.) Besecke (!) alt. other Beseckes (that flourished in the late 1700's, in Germany), for examples, see: here, alt. here.

Last edited by Calalp : Monday 20th November 2017 at 09:06.
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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 09:04   #2
Taphrospilus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calalp View Post
Not to confuse with the earlier (J.M.G.) Besecke (!) alt. other Beseckes (that flourished in the late 1700's, in Germany), for examples, see: here, alt. here.
I agree Johann Melchior Gottlieb Beseke (1746-1802) (see here) even if he published about birds Beytrag zur Naturgeschichte der Vögel Kurlands would be not that young at date of description or even already dead.

Here a mussle collected by Beseke. And in 1836 he may be mentioned here.

Quote:
Crescit gregarium in solo steril micaceo in provincia Rio Janeiro Brasiliae, ubi detexit clar. Beseke.
(But latin is not my language) Maybe a son of Prof. Johann Melchior Gottlieb Beseke (alias Jean Melchior Théophile or John Melchior Theophilus)?

Here is written:

Quote:
C. H. Beseke, nova Freiburgo, abzugeben bey den Herren Arens & Bladh in Rio Janeiro

As well I found here...

Quote:
Naturalien-Handlung des Hrn. Beseke in Hamburg
...signed with Charles Henry Beseke.

Last edited by Taphrospilus : Monday 20th November 2017 at 09:38.
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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 13:44   #3
l_raty
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From Burmeister's Reise nach Brasilien, durch die Provinzen von Rio de Janeiro und Minas geraës (1853), [here]:
Quote:
Mein Aufenthalt in Neu-Freiburg sollte einen doppelten Zweck haben, ich wollte mich ungestörter, als es in Rio de Janeiro möglich ist, der Beschäftigung mit der Natur hingeben und durch kalte Bäder meinen Körper so weit stärken, um eine längere Reise nach dem Innern unternehmen zu können. In Neu-Freiburg lebte ein seit Jahren mir wohlbekannter Sammler, Herr Carl Heinrich Bescke *) aus Hamburg, mit dem ich schon lange in Verkehr stand, und der mir für meine Absichten und ihre Erreichung durch seinen Rath besonders nützlich werden konnte. [...]
----------
*) Bei meiner Heimkehr von Minas erhielt ich die Todesanzeige dieses um die Entomologie Brasiliens vielfach verdienten Mannes; er war am 5 December 1851 an der Wassersucht gestorben.

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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 14:54   #4
l_raty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taphrospilus View Post
Here is written:
Quote:
C. H. Beseke, nova Freiburgo, abzugeben bey den Herren Arens & Bladh in Rio Janeiro
His name is spelled 'Bescke' here as well, actually. Hard to be fully sure from these Google scans, but clear if you zoom onto it in the [BHL copy].
Ditto in [quite a few other places on the web].

More [here]. His father (Christian Friedrich B.) apparently went to, and collected in, S America before him -- in 1821. But the type of Cephalolepis beskii Pelzeln was taken in 1847 according to [Pelzeln & Lorenz 1886], which fits the son only.

There's a number of places on the web where he is said to be born in/around 1798. (In 'Homburg' according to some -- whether this is correct, or a corruption of Hamburg, I don't know...)

Last edited by l_raty : Monday 20th November 2017 at 15:34.
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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 15:39   #5
Calalp
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I would say that the German-born (back-step, my error) botanist, naturalist and collector Carl Heinrich Bes(e/c)ke (1798–1851) is a highly likely candidate!

If so, probably, maybe; born in 1798 in Homburg, Saarland, (a k a Saar or Sarre, one of the sixteen, and one of the smallest, states, or Bundesländer, of Germany, located in Western/South-western part of the same country) ... who died (of dropsy/edema) in the beginning of December 1851, in Nova Friburgo, Brazil. In between he could have worked in Hamburg as well, who knows? Maybe Charles Henry B was/would/could be an Americanized version of Carl Heinrich B ...

If it truly was/is him? And if/when he did emigrate to North vs/and/or South America ... that´s beyond my understanding. Sorry. I just happened to note that earlier explanations simply didn't add up.

I will leave him here, with the feeling that I will just mess things up.

However; it does look like he's "our" guy ...
--

Last edited by Calalp : Monday 20th November 2017 at 16:08.
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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 16:00   #6
l_raty
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I would presume his actual name was most likely indeed Bescke; but -sck- is not a very usual spelling, which resulted in some either dropping the c, or turning it into an e ?

Is his name (as opposed to, i.a., that of Johann Melchior Gottlieb) actually written 'Besecke' somewhere?

Last edited by l_raty : Monday 20th November 2017 at 16:19.
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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 16:54   #7
Calalp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l_raty View Post
Is his name (as opposed to, i.a., that of Johann Melchior Gottlieb) actually written 'Besecke' somewhere?
Not sure what you mean, but it was definitely written that way in the "See the following links; here, here, here and here" in my post #1.
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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 17:04   #8
l_raty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calalp View Post
In between he could have worked in Hamburg as well, who knows? Maybe Charles Henry B was/would/could be an Americanized version of Carl Heinrich B ...
Burmeister wrote that he was from Hamburg.

- [Here], in 1824, 'Charles Henry Bescke' was said in a journal published in Philadelphia to be a native of this city, who had just started "An Exchange of Objects of Natural History and of Ingenious Artificial Curiosities" in Hamburg... [Here], also in 1824, 'Charles Henry Beseke' announced in Isis that he started a Naturalien-Handlung in Hamburg. In the text, he called Nord-America his Vaterland.
- In Isis, we can find 'Charles Henry' just once more, [here], in 1827 -- last name now spelled 'Besecke', offering stuffed animals for sale.
- In 1832, still in Isis, [here], 'Carl Heinrich Bescke' published a letter he had written aboard the ship Henriette, on 8 Apr 1832, in the harbour of Hamburg, waiting to sail to Brazil. In the text he said his father lived there. (This contradicts one of the links I gave above, where his father was said to have died in 1824.)

Nicely messy information, in any case.
So... Born in the US; used an English version of his given names in his youth; then went back to Germany; and after some time switched to the German version...?

***
Bescke is also mentioned in Pacheco et al 2014 [pdf here].

Last edited by l_raty : Tuesday 21st November 2017 at 09:16.
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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 18:25   #9
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Here is a letter from Charles Henry soliciting a botanist Gustav Kunz. He mentions his Father in law was on Tenerif and that his Father was in transit from Brazil to Calcutta.
http://kalliope.staatsbibliothek-ber...611-HS-2671034
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Old Monday 20th November 2017, 20:42   #10
Calalp
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And even more, Mark, following the same link (here).
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 00:13   #11
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Old friend F. Boie and new friend Germar.
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 12:18   #12
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Here p. 22 (or 24 of 172)

Quote:
Beschke – Carl Heinrich Beschke (1798-1851). (Brazil).
- Heteragrion beschkii Hagen, 1862
As already indicated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calalp View Post
I would say that the German-born (back-step, my error) botanist, naturalist and collector Carl Heinrich Bes(e/c)ke (1798–1851) is a highly likely candidate!

Last edited by Taphrospilus : Tuesday 21st November 2017 at 12:21.
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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 12:55   #13
l_raty
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taphrospilus View Post
Here p. 22 (or 24 of 172)
Quote:
Beschke – Carl Heinrich Beschke (1798-1851). (Brazil).
- Heteragrion beschkii Hagen, 1862
[OD]
Clearly still the same guy, yet another spelling variant...
(On a rapid check, this spelling seems to be associated to him exclusively in dragonfly contexts, though.)

(Note - Hagen in 1862 [here] (that is, the very author to whom Selys attributed the name beschkii, in the year Selys published it), in a list of works, wrote his name 'Bescke (C. H.)'. This represented a correction from 'Beské', the spelling that appeared in the original works he was citing -- see [here], [here], [here].)

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Old Tuesday 21st November 2017, 19:50   #14
Calalp
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Well done guys!

I couldn´t keep my fingers away from this one ...

Thereby I would say that von Pelzeln's invalid "Cephalolepis beskii" most likely does commemorate the German (alt. US/German) naturalist, taxidermist and collector, as well as feather trader and dealer in various Naturalia Carl Henrich Bescke (1798–1851) a k a (Charles Henry) Beske, Beseke, Besecke or Beschke [and Beské] ... wow!

Anyone who disagree, this far ...?
--

Last edited by Calalp : Wednesday 22nd November 2017 at 08:54. Reason: typo
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