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Letter 7697

Nitsche, Hinrich to Darwin, C. R.

18 Apr 1871

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    Sends CD photographs of his atavistic ears and ears of a foetal orang in the collection of the Zoological Museum, Leipzig.

Transcription

Leipzig

d. 18ten. April 1871.

Dear Sir,

After Mr Ray Lankester informed you, that I was the lucky owner of a pair of well developed atavistic ears, you expressed the wish, to have a photograph of them. I hasten to fulfil your wish and include with this letter life-size photographs of both my external hearing organs. I must however note that only the photograph of the right ear can be considered completely successful, and also that only in this one is the projection of the helix, which you particularly stressed, strong, and indeed as you will easily see, much more strongly developed than in your woodcuts  but the top ends of both ears are actually pointed, so that my friends say I have satyr ears.

I also enclose a life-size photograph of an orang foetus; it is kept in the huge University zoological collection. Its ears, as you will easily see, are much further removed from those of the human than the ears of adult anthropoid apes usually are. I would be very pleased if the photographs were of real use to you; you can dispose of them perfectly freely  I should only ask you not to mention my name, if you should incorporate the photograph of my ear into a new edition of your lastest work.

Forgive me for the brevity and haste of this letter, as well as for my bad handwriting. But I am writing from my bed, to which I have been confined for a long time due to a sprained right foot.

With the greatest regard I remain | Yours | very faithfully | Dr. H. Nitsche | Assistant at the Zoological Museum in Leipzig. | Dörrienstrasse 5.

Translation

Leipzig

d. 18ten. April 1871.

Dear Sir,

After Mr Ray Lankester informed you, that I was the lucky owner of a pair of well developed atavistic ears, you expressed the wish, to have a photograph of them. I hasten to fulfil your wish and include with this letter life-size photographs of both my external hearing organs. I must however note that only the photograph of the right ear can be considered completely successful, and also that only in this one is the projection of the helix, which you particularly stressed, strong, and indeed as you will easily see, much more strongly developed than in your woodcuts  but the top ends of both ears are actually pointed, so that my friends say I have satyr ears.

I also enclose a life-size photograph of an orang foetus; it is kept in the huge University zoological collection. Its ears, as you will easily see, are much further removed from those of the human than the ears of adult anthropoid apes usually are. I would be very pleased if the photographs were of real use to you; you can dispose of them perfectly freely  I should only ask you not to mention my name, if you should incorporate the photograph of my ear into a new edition of your lastest work.

Forgive me for the brevity and haste of this letter, as well as for my bad handwriting. But I am writing from my bed, to which I have been confined for a long time due to a sprained right foot.

With the greatest regard I remain | Yours | very faithfully | Dr. H. Nitsche | Assistant at the Zoological Museum in Leipzig. | Dörrienstrasse 5.

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    f1 7697.f1
    For a transcription of this letter in its original German, see p. ????.
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