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  Emil Weiske   * 19.5.1867 Dolsenhain, Kreis Geithain, Sachsen, Germany + 16.3.1950 Saalfeld, Thüringen, Germany   

As hunter and collector WEISKE emigrated to California in 1890 and to Hawaii in 1892. From there he travelled to the Fidji Islands in 1894 and to New Zealand 1895. WEISKE worked as farmer and even as soldier. His career as professional collector started in Queensland 1895. 1897 until 1900 he collected in New Guinea especially in search of birds of paradise. When hunting fish with dynamite he lost one hand. His collections comprised mostly birds, mammals, molluscs, reptiles and amphibiens, beetles, butterflies, herbaria and ethnologica. In 1900 he returned to Germany. His zoological South Sea collections were sold to the museums in Vienna, London, Tring, Dresden, Berlin, Leipzig, Strassbourg and to natural history dealers. The archive of The Natural History Museum, Tring holds a letter of WEISKE to ROTHSCHILD (26 Oct. 1898 from New Guinea). In 1901 he married Lina Mäder in Germany. In 1904 he bought an inn in Weida, Thuringia, where he built up a touring exhibiton and became well known with popular lectures about his travels. In 1908 he started for his next collecting expedition to Siberia and Mongolia together with Otto TEICHMANN. Most of the collections came to the museum in Vienna and Dresden. About 1910 WEISKE started to South America, from Brazil to Patagonia and Paraguay (1911). Collections came to Munich, Vienna (via Seilern) and to private collectors. Economical reasons after the first world war led WEISKE to sell his inn in 1922. He moved his collections to Saalfeld where he maintained a private museum. His name is commemorated in bird taxa described by REICHENOW. A comprehensive contribution about WEISKE’s travels and collections was published by HEYDER (1964).

Lit.:
GEBHARDT L., 1964: Die Ornithologen Mitteleuropas. — Giessen, 380 ff.
GEBHARDT L, 1970: Die Ornithologen Mitteleuropas. — Bd. 2. J. Orn. 111, Sh. 194 f.
HEYDER R. (1964): Emil WEISKE - Ein Leben für die Kenntnis der Natur fremder Länder. — Zool. Abh. Staatl. Mus. Tierkde. Dresden 27/5: 81-128 (Foto, S. 82)
HORN et al., 1990: Collectiones entomologicae. — Berlin. 418 f.
SASSI M., 1909/10: Bemerkungen zu den von Emil Weiske in Britisch-Neu-Guinea und Nord-Queensland gesammelten Vogelbälgen. — J.Orn. 57, 58.
WEISKE E., 1923: Zehn Jahre in Amerika, auf den Südsee-Inseln und in Australien. Ein Lebensbild. — Weida, 7. Aufl., 8 pp + 1 Abb.

Pers. comm.: V. WEST, Tring, UK