Lettres Döderlein

Lettres Döderlein | Correspondance entre Dr. Döderlein et James Dale
Traduction Marie Meister
Collection du musée zoologique de Strasbourg

Correspondance entre Dr. Döderlein et James Dale
Traduction Marie Meister
Collection du musée zoologique de Strasbourg

Rockville New Zealand
Oct 8/05
To Dr L. Döderlein, Zoologischen Institute Strassburg

Dear Sir. Some time ago in one of your letters you spoke about skeletons of marine animals & at the present time I have a skeleton of Berardius Arnuxii which is perfect with the exception of one tooth which someone had removed. I am sending you a photo by this mail, the price will be £15// carefully packed & delivered to the steamer in Collingwood. I enclose a general description of it.
I am also trying to get a skeleton of Sibbaldius sulphureus the fish is 30 ft. long, but it is in a bad place so I am not certain that I can obtain the perfect skeleton. Should I be able to do so the price would be £15// carefully packed & delivered to the steamer in Collingwood. Should you like to have the two it would take £2/10/- off each or send you an incomplete skeleton of Epiodon NovaeZealandiae the skull is complete & ear drums in place but the beak is worn out of shape with the shingles there are quite a large quantity of bones but not nearly complete.
Thanking you for yout past kind favours, I am Sir,
Yours very truly,
James Dall

In the description of the fish for Vent read ‘anus’

note de LD au dos de la lettre de Dall du 8/10/1905 :

25/1/06 …. bei Dall

  1. complete skeleton of Berardius arnuxii
  2. complete skeleton of Sibbaldius sulphureus
  3. incomplete skeleton of Epiodon novaezelandiae
    All three together to the price of £30.-
    to be paid after arrival in Strassburg
    L. Döderlein
    Synonymies : Berardius arnuxii OK
    Sibbaldius sulphureus = Baleanoptera musculus (= squelette marqué b) donc serait baleine bleue ???
    Epiodon novaezelandiae = Ziphius cavirostris Cuvier, 1823 (baleine à bec de Cuvier)

Notes on a whale (Berardius Arnuxii) washed up on the Para Para beach in Collingwood New Zealand – January 1905
Length 29 ft 6 in.
Length to front of back fin 20 ft. 6 in.
Length total of back fin 4 ft. (+ petit dessin)
Length from the tail to the commencement of the back fin 5 ft. 6 in.
Length flippers 5 ft. 4 in.
Length Vent from the tail 8 ft.
Length Penis from the tail 9 ft.
Girth at 8 ft from the tail 10 ft. 8 in.
Girth back to the fin 12 ft. 8 in.
About the base of skull 4 ft. 6 in.
Length of skull 1 ft. 8 in. - of beak 2 ft. 4 in. = xxx
Length Mandibles total 3 ft. 10 in.
N° of Vertebrae 42 or 44 (2 joined to the atlas bone
Ribs 20
Chevrons 12
Breast plates 6
(mesures en feet –ft, et en inches –in)

Rockville New Zealand
July 6/06
To Professor L. Döderlein
Zoological Institute – Strassburg

Dear Sir,
I duly delivered the 3 skeletons to the steamer in Collingwood on the 27th June ; I received a request for an amount to cover freight to Nelson & to Wellington & to London, as this class of goods is sometimes refused.
I made no mention in my letter to you(r) repayment of freight, as you had paid me very promptly.
I am not in a position to pay so much money as I am always under a heavy outlay in my business, so after some correspondences & my garanteing the freight they agreed to forward the cases to London, to Merrs A.L. Elder & Co 7 St Helen’s place London E.C. & they will deliver the cases to your agents in London on payment of freight & charges there ; so they will notify you of the approaching arrival of the cases as soon as they receive the B/L. it is not certain what ship the(y) will go forward in yet. So that if you will kindly make your arrangements in that way, it will save delay & expense.
The skeletons are well & carefully packed in strong new cases & will reach you in perfect condition. Sibbaldius sulphureus bones are heavy, the bones of the other two are porous and comparatively light.
I will forward the land shells and sea urchins as soon as I can obtain what is worth sending.
Thanking you again for your kind favour.
Yours faithfully
James Dall

Rockville N. Z. June 21/06
To Professor L. Döderlein

Dear Sir
I have at last been able to get the whale skeletons away & have forwarded them to Nelson from Collingwood for shipment to you through my Nelson agents Messrs Cock & Co, Merchants.
I have instructed them to insure them to the value of £ 30-0-0 & freight to London, they advise me that is as far as they can go. Should you desire to insure from London to Strassburg, you could require to do so at your end. I kept one fin of Sibbaldius sulphureus in the flesh (there is no smell with it except a little oil) as I thought it would give a better idea how to place the bones.
There is a small bag in cases 1 & 3 containing small bones.
I will have a good look again for the eyeball of Sibbaldius sulphureus which I burried. I can send through post, with the land shells, those I have at present are not very good. I will endeavour to obtain some sea urchins also.
I don't think the shell I send you is named.
Would Moa bones (Dinornis xx) be of any use to you ? or further skeletons of whales. Occasionally I obtain skeletons of
Globicephalus macrorhyncus
N.Z. Blackfish
Delphinus forsteri & other
Histiophorus hewekellii swordfish
I send you a Postcard with a picture of a remarkable fish, some say it is a species of Dolphin One gentleman calls it Beradius Arnuxii others say something else.
I understand it comes out of Pelorus or Queen Charlotte's Sounds, & meets nearly every steamer on the Nelson to Wellington run & has been there now for a number of years – of course it is difficult to get a good photo with the fish underwater ; it probably comes to rub the barnacles off. It is protected by the New Zealand governement. The crew on one steamer shot at it & the report is that it has never visited that steamer since ; I have not seen the fish myself.
In regard to payment for the whale skeletons, you can either remit to Merrs A.L. Elder & Co 7 St Helen’s place London E.C. or the bank of New Zealand, Nelson N.Z. or by P.C.C. direct to James Dall, Collingwood, New Zealand.
Trusting that the specimens will reach you safely & please
Dear Sir
Yours faithfully
James Dall

au dos : Pelorus back is generally spoken of as a white fish, but as he generally is upright when near the steamer he shows the white belly, but I have read from parties who seemed to know what they were writing about, that his back is black.

J.H. Cock & Cie
London agants
7 St Helens Place
Nelson, New Zealand
27th July 1906
Herrn Professor L. Döderlein
Zoologische Sammlung Strassburg, Germany

Dear Sir,
By direction of Mr Jams Dall, who is already in correspondence with you, we have shipped to London pv. SS ‘Athenic’ 5 cases marked DSG Nos 1/5 containing whale skeletons and have sent the Bill of Lading with an account of charges to our agents Merrs A.L. Elder C° Ltd of 7 St Helens Place, London who will hand over the documents to your London agents upon payment of the charges. The SS ‘Athenic’ should reach London about the end of August.
Yours faithfully
J.H. Cock & C°

Bordereau d’envoi de Collingwood, via Nelson, N.Z.

Contents of 5 cases Zoological specimens consigned to Professor L. Döderlein – Sammlung des Zoologischen Instituts Strasburg
Case 1
Contains the skeleton marked Sibbaldius of ‘Sibbaldius sulphureus’ except 1 vertebra in case 3 easily known by its weight. In working to open the head there are 2 sharp points of bone on which the ear drums rest, be careful not to break them off & the rimbone for the eye is also slender – no epiphyses-
The anterior chevrons are nearby flat & are marked
Case 2
Contains the incomplete skeleton of the supposed ?Epiodon NovaeZelandiae ? skull with ear drums in position
Case 3
Contains the skeleton of Berardius Arnuxii except 4 vertebrae in case 4. & shoulder blades/scapula case 5. I am not certain, but I think there is one small bone wanting in the manus, otherwise this skeleton is perfect as a few weeks ago I managed to obtain the lost tooth, a fortunate thing after such a length of time.
N.B. Before removing the skull, take out the lower (slender) jaws, one on each side of the skull & be especially careful of the rim of the eyes as it is very slender & easily broken ; with one ear bone (displaced) is a piece of roughish bone which goes with it – no epiphyses.
The anterior chevrons are flat & are marked –
Case 4
Contains 1 fin complete & portion of the other also 4 vertebrae belonging to Berardius Arnuxii of Case 3.
Case 5
Contains the whalebone of ‘Sibbaldius sulphureus’ also the scapula of Berardius Arnuxii (1 rare Marine shell fine specimen).
The whalebone is not in very good order (but I did the best I could with it) owing to the very wet weather at the time.
Note : unless the fish had an odd rib as sometimes happens, one of the ribs of Sibbaldius sulphureus’ is lost, & I have now very little hopes of obtaining it, but still I may do so & if so I will care for it.
I lots one ear drum, but by careful watching & scarifying the beach I found it but lost the eyeballs ; I buried one but though I have spent a considerable time looking for it, I have failed to find it, but I still hope to do so. The other I am afraid is totally lost, as I have scarified the beach & examined the shore for a long distance a number of times.
This fish was of deep golden red on the belly with deep folds & had no epiphyses, whilst every fish or animal of this species I have seen previously had epiphyses.