A Circular to Sea Captains and other Seafaring Men. PORTLAND SOCIETY OF NATURAL HISTORY, William WOOD, Charles B. FULLER.

A Circular to Sea Captains and other Seafaring Men.

Portland: Henry F. Perry & Co. for the museum, 1881.

Octavo pamphlet, 12pp., original printed wrappers.

An eloquent plea to seafarers to collect natural history specimens for the Portland Society of Natural History - which had twice lost their magnificent collections to fire. The pamphlet, printed fifteen years after the second fire, prompts mariners to collect ordinary animals and specimens in foreign lands (rather than holding out for extraordinary and marvellous creatures to appear). Hence 'the most common things of those regions, and which are to be had without money or price, except the trouble of collecting and preserving them, are the desirable thingsā€¦'. Nothing is too mundane, even the mud adhering to an anchor in a foreign port. The pamphlet concludes with some rudimentary advice about collecting specimens and preserving them for transport.

An eloquent plea to seafarers to collect natural history specimens for the Portland Society of Natural History - which had twice lost their magnificent collections to fire. The pamphlet, printed fifteen years after the second fire, prompts mariners to collect ordinary animals and specimens in foreign lands (rather than holding out for extraordinary and marvellous creatures to appear). Hence 'the most common things of those regions, and which are to be had without money or price, except the trouble of collecting and preserving them, are the desirable things…'. Nothing is too mundane, even the mud adhering to an anchor in a foreign port. The pamphlet concludes with some rudimentary advice about collecting specimens and preserving them for transport.

Collectors' guides such as this throw an interesting light on the way in which the collecting and research institutions depended on mariners to enrich and diversify their collections. While 18th-century collecting had generally been more directed at the assembly of curios, 19th-century collecting tended to be more targeted, as suggested by this rare and ephemeral pamphlet.

Condition Report: An excellent copy.

Price (AUD): $240.00

US$176.05   Other currencies

Ref: #4202824

Condition Report