the Pallas Picture
Around 1840 this contour drawing was published in Simon Peter Pallas' Icones ad Zoographia Rosso-Asiatica
, the delayed illustrations for his Animals of Russian Asia
of 1826. Already 1811 Pallas had mentioned this image and called it "a rough sketch, such as I received it"*)iconem, utut rudem, addere volui, qualem accepti
. Despite its uncertain origin Pallas must have considered it authentic and had it published, unfortunately without saying how he obtained it.
A line describes the course of the spine from shoulder to the middle of the horizontal fluke, which is shown vertically and somewhat forked, as described by Steller. Shown as a (probably exaggerated) bend in the paunch is the decrease in body circumference from the genitals towards the tail*)Steller, Bering Island
(in Golder, Page 231)
. The eye is shown as a dot.
At that time none of the Waxell-Maps, as described on the following pages, were known, and no skeleton had arrived in Europe.
Stejneger believed*)1936, App. A
that this might be one of the original sketches, which Plenisner produced at Steller's request on Bering-Island:
"... there is nothing improbable that Pallas received the sketch directly from Plenisner". Probably Pallas met Plenisner in St. Petersburg.
There is a striking resemblance with the Pekarski Picture and to a degree the Tsarskoye Selo Picture No. 2 on the next pages. Stejneger therefore assumed that the various Waxell-Illustrations might be based on Plenisner's sketches (Plenisner was Waxell's subordinate).