The Tower Menagerie: Comprising the Natural History of the Animals Contained in that Establishment; with Anecdotes of their Characters and History…illustrated...
The Tower Menagerie: Comprising the Natural History of the Animals Contained in that Establishment; with Anecdotes of their Characters and History…illustrated...
The Tower Menagerie: Comprising the Natural History of the Animals Contained in that Establishment; with Anecdotes of their Characters and History…illustrated...

The Tower Menagerie: Comprising the Natural History of the Animals Contained in that Establishment; with Anecdotes of their Characters and History…
The Tower Menagerie: Comprising the Natural History of the Animals Contained in that Establishment; with Anecdotes of their Characters and History…illustrated...

London: Robert Jennings, 1829.

Octavo, with 107 wood-engravings; finely bound in contemporary red morocco gilt decorated, edges fully gilt, early inked manuscript note on endpaper.

Kangaroos in the Tower of London

First edition. The menagerie in the Tower of London had been established in the mid-thirteenth century at which time it housed a white bear which bathed and fished in the River Thames. The fortunes of the zoo waxed and waned until 1822 when the new director, Alfred Cops, arrived to find no more than 'one grizzly bear, an elephant and one or two birds'. Within six years of his appointment, he had revitalised the collection and this description of some sixty species was completed each of which was drawn from life by William Harvey, friend and favourite pupil of Thomas Bewick, the fine English engraver (as borne out in the inked manuscript note of a previous owner).

First edition. The menagerie in the Tower of London had been established in the mid-thirteenth century at which time it housed a white bear which bathed and fished in the River Thames. The fortunes of the zoo waxed and waned until 1822 when the new director, Alfred Cops, arrived to find no more than 'one grizzly bear, an elephant and one or two birds'. Within six years of his appointment, he had revitalised the collection and this description of some sixty species was completed each of which was drawn from life by William Harvey, friend and favourite pupil of Thomas Bewick, the fine English engraver (as borne out in the inked manuscript note of a previous owner).

The collection boasted kangaroos, "yellow" crested cockatoos and emus, all of which are depicted and described in some detail. It is remarkable to think that by this date the exotic fauna of Australia - so recently discovered - was available locally: "The Emeus, like the Kanguroos, have become to a certain extant naturalised in the Royal Park at Windsor, where they breed without difficulty and with no extraordinary precautions… The pair in the Tower were obtained from this establishment, where they were bred".

Casey Wood, 239.

Price (AUD): $1,950.00  other currencies     Ref: #4504295

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