The Philosophy of Natural History. Edward DAYES, William SMELLIE.

The Philosophy of Natural History.

London: Scott, Webster & Geary, 1837.

Duodecimo, frontispiece and engraved title-page; contemporary roan with gilt to spine and boards.

Famous colonial view as fore-edge painting

An attractive fore-edge painting based upon the famous Sydney Cove view engraved by Edward Dayes. This image, transmitted through various forms (from oil on canvas to engraving to fore-edge painting) is believed to be the work of convict artist Thomas Watling.

An attractive fore-edge painting based upon the famous Sydney Cove view engraved by Edward Dayes. This image, transmitted through various forms (from oil on canvas to engraving to fore-edge painting) is believed to be the work of convict artist Thomas Watling.

Engravings by Dayes after originals by Watling feature in the First Fleet accounts of Collins and Hunter, and are now iconic Australiana images. The present for-edge rendition is skilfully executed, painted under the gilding and only to be revealed only when the pages are gently fanned. An old clipping from a booksellers catalogue advertising this book (circa 1930) notes the Sydney view, and the pastedown bears the bookplate of New Zealand book collector and art critic E. C. Simpson.

William Smellie (1740-1795) was the editor of the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, eminnent natural historian and co-founder of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. This popular and posthumous edition is edited by one of the founders of the Boston Society of Natural History, John Ware. Smellie was considered a precursor to Darwin and the work notably contains a section on marsupials and the platypus.

Condition Report: Binding lightly rubbed, very good overall.

Price (AUD): $3,850.00

US$2,836.47   Other currencies

Ref: #3911442

Condition Report