Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations. Drawn from the life by Harriet and Helena Scott; with descriptions, general and systematic, by A.W. Scott. Alexander SCOTT, Harriet, Helena.
Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations. Drawn from the life by Harriet and Helena Scott; with descriptions, general and systematic, by A.W. Scott.
Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations. Drawn from the life by Harriet and Helena Scott; with descriptions, general and systematic, by A.W. Scott.
Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations. Drawn from the life by Harriet and Helena Scott; with descriptions, general and systematic, by A.W. Scott.

Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations…
Australian Lepidoptera and their Transformations. Drawn from the life by Harriet and Helena Scott; with descriptions, general and systematic, by A.W. Scott.

Sydney: Australian Museum, 1890-1893.

Five folio parts (in six), 21 hand-coloured lithographed plates, all with the colophon "Allan & Wigley, Printers, Sydney", descriptive letterpress, original wrappers; preserved in a custom built folding cloth case.

The Scott sisters: the talented Australian natural history painters

A beautiful Australian natural history production, scarce complete, by two pioneering Australian women artists. Harriet and Helena Scott were the foremost natural science painters in New South Wales from 1850 until 1900; Rose Docker of the Australian Museum cites them as "true artists and naturalists of note". Through prodigious talent, the two sisters became highly skilled artists, natural history illustrators and specimen collectors, all largely otherwise a male domain in 19th-century Australia. This set comprises the second edition but first Sydney printing of the nine-plate first part (of which only 100 copies had been prepared in London in 1864) and the first printing of the remaining five parts.

A beautiful Australian natural history production, scarce complete, by two pioneering Australian women artists. Harriet and Helena Scott were the foremost natural science painters in New South Wales from 1850 until 1900; Rose Docker of the Australian Museum cites them as "true artists and naturalists of note". Through prodigious talent, the two sisters became highly skilled artists, natural history illustrators and specimen collectors, all largely otherwise a male domain in 19th-century Australia. This set comprises the second edition but first Sydney printing of the nine-plate first part (of which only 100 copies had been prepared in London in 1864) and the first printing of the remaining five parts.

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With the guidance of their Hunter Valley neighbour, S. T. Gill, the sisters also became accomplished lithographers. All bar six of the lithographic stones were prepared by Harriet or Helena, (signed "from Nature and on stone"), Gill completing one, and Edmund Thomas the balance. Both the sisters were educated by their father, Alexander Walker Scott, first in Sydney and later on their father's estate, Ash Island. A visiting Ludwig Leichhardt had observed in 1842 "… it is a remarkably fine place, not only to enjoy the beauty of nature, a broad shining river, a luxuriant vegetation, a tasteful comfortable cottage with a plantation of orange trees, but to collect a great number of plants which I had never seen before… Climbing Polypodium, the Aerostichum growing on the trees, a great number of creepers, the nettle Tree, the Caper, the native Olive and many others".

Alexander Scott published the first volume of Australian Lepidoptera in London in 1864. It contained nine plates after original drawings by his daughters, and was issued in an edition of 100 copies only (of which 25 were sold in Australia). Some years after his death in 1883, Harriet and Helena at some personal cost instigated the completion of their father's cherished project, and the remaining parts were published by the Australian Museum in Sydney between 1890-1893. Given the scarcity of the first part, the Museum reissued it with a reprint of the 1864 title page (this section was published in 1899 and bears that date on the title page).

The second volume contains plates numbered 10 to 21; Harriet and Helena prepared the lithographs which were then printed in Sydney. The plates for Australian Lepidoptera were then sent to be hand coloured in England, using original artworks by the sisters as a guide.

Collation of the parts:

Vol. I. Title-page [London, 1864, but 1899. Apart from the four prelims the text and hand-coloured plates are the same as those of the 1864 edition], 30 pp., index [i-iv], plates 1-9 in series (with descriptive letterpress).

Vol. II. Part I. Sydney, F. W. White, April 30, 1890, Illustrated title-wrappers, 11 pp., plates 10-12 (with descriptive letterpress);

Vol. II. Part II. Sydney, F. W. White, February 28, 1891, Illustrated title-wrappers, pp.11-18, plates 13-15 in series, (with descriptive letterpress).

Vol. II. Part III. Sydney, F. W. White, November 30, 1891, Illustrated title-wrappers, pp.19-26, plates 16-18 in series, (with descriptive letterpress).

Vol. II. Part IV. Sydney, F. W. White, May 31, 1893, Title-wrappers, pp.27-36, plates 19-21 in series, (with descriptive letterpress).

Vol. II. [Part V]. Sydney, 1890-1898, Title, introduction, index and list of plates [i-iv].

Condition Report: Chipped and aged, otherwise good

Price (AUD): $6,750.00

US$5,189.71   Other currencies

Ref: #4504857

Condition Report