Benedict von Wagemann (1763-1837), a physician in Ehingen, Germany, published Die konstitutionelle Monarchie der Thiere in 1823. The work describes, in rhyming verse, a council of animals who meet to discuss their current political situation. The animals rebel against their king, design a constitution, and elect representatives to govern themselves.
The engraved frontispiece depicts this council, with over twenty cloaked and spectacled animals of various species discussing their new government:
It is possible that this work inspired a somewhat more famous 20th-century political allegory featuring animals, however, this seems to be the only known copy outside of Germany and the Netherlands. (Feel free to contradict me if you happen to know more; there is very little bibliographic information on this book that I could find.)
As always, clicking on the images will make them larger.
*GC8.W1227.823k. Purchased with the Harry K. Mansfield Book Fund. Images may not be reproduced without permission.
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