This themed list spans three hundred years of natural history: from John Gerard’s handsome 17th Century English herbal; to a great feat of 20th Century publishing, Banks' Florilegium (from the original 18th Century copper-plates). In the wake of the great 18th & 19th Century voyages of exploration and scientific discovery are landmark works by the great naturalist Baron Cuvier, his rival, Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (doing his scholarly best to explain the peculiarities of never-seen Australian fauna), works on entolomolgy by another Cuvier-contemporary, Pierre André Latreille, and by René-Primavère Lesson the surgeon-naturalist who wrote the official account of the Duperrey voyage. There are charming works for the young and works of amazing beauty.
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London: Robert Jennings, 1829.
Kangaroos in the Tower of LondonOctavo, with 107 wood-engravings; finely bound in contemporary red morocco gilt decorated, edges fully gilt, early inked manuscript note on endpaper. First edition. The menagerie in the Tower of London had been established in the mid-thirteenth century at which time...
London: John Van Voorst, 1860.
With coloured lithographs after AngasOctavo, with eight handcoloured lithograph plates by George French Angas; in green half morocco by Sangorski & Sutcliffe. First edition: a handsome copy of this popular book by the well-travelled naturalist. "The drawings, with a few exceptions, are from the...
Germany? circa 1851.
Travelling menagerie including an Australian dingoTwo broadsheets (400 x 243 mm.; 218 x 380 mm.). Two wonderful German broadsheets, advertising a travelling zoo. Among the fascinating animals listed as being exhibited, the Australian dingo makes a rather surprising inclusion. The 1840s and 1850s had witnessed a....
Paris: Annales des Sciences Naturelles, December 1826.
Separately printed and important work on the platypus12 pp., caption-title; tipped into a modern binding of quarter linen and boards. The renowned French zoologist Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire on the platypus: an important study, read to the Académie des Sciences and set up.....
London: E.W. Janson, 1874. Quarto, with three lithograph plates; in original cloth-backed printed green boards. This study of the butterflies and moths of New Zealand, made as part of the scientific surveys during the voyage of the Erebus and Terror, was issued separately, but also formed part of the general...
Paris: chez Buisson, 1787.
First edition in FrenchTwo volumes, quarto, with a folding map and 16 engraved plates, some folding; contemporary mottled calf. Cook's second voyage and travels in South Africa, by the famous Swedish naturalist. This is the first edition in French, the most profusely illustrated of the...
Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas, 1871.
The Straits of MagellanOctavo, with a coloured folding map and 21 lithograph plates; in the original green cloth. Scarce account of an exploration of the Strait of Magellan. Cunningham was appointed naturalist aboard the Nassau, a steamer sent to work on the survey of...
Paris: Deterville, 1817.
Cuvier's great zoology, including Australian insects from the Baudin voyageFour volumes, octavo, 15 engraved plates by C.-L. Laurillard a handsome set, with all four half-titles, in contemporary quarter calf over mottled papered boards, gilt, double spine labels in red & green. First edition of this germinal...
Paris: Arthus Bertrand, 1877-, 1878.
Monotremes by the great French scientific publisherFour lithographed plates measuring 552 x 362 mm., one coloured; with accompanying text comprising two unopened quarto gatherings, both plates and text separately preserved in the publishers blue printed titling wrappers. Beautifully preserved monograph on the New Guinea...
London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, circa 1860.
A compassionate approach to natureOblong album containing 119 handcoloured plates, recent red cloth. Attractive collection of coloured zoological plates prepared for British schoolchildren during the mid-nineteenth century, including two Australian species (an emu and a kangaroo). The plates were issued by...
London: William Darton, n.d. but, 1827.
With the kangaroo of "New Holland".Square duodecimo, printed title-page, 48 hand-coloured plates with letterpress description verso, final 2 pp. advertisements, extant captions dated 26 August 1826, early manuscript presentation dated 1827; in publisher's binding of red calf, lettered in gilt to front board...
Nürnberg: Johann Andreæ Endter, 1668.
The exotic East and West Indies: in monastic pigskin bindingThick folio, engraved title, followed by title-page in red & black, envoi to German Emperor Leopold I with separate armorial frontispiece, 65 plates, with one textual illustration and the terminal Errata leaf; contemporary full pigskin.....
Paris: Pillet aîné, 1825.
Report on the zoology of the Freycinet voyageOctavo, 16 pp., quarter calf. Rare report by Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire on the zoological volume of the Freycinet voyage publication, including some personal observations on the mammals of Australia. The Zoologique section of the voyage publication was prepared by.....
London: Adam Islip, Joice Norton, and Richard Whitakers, 1636.
With more than 2500 botanical woodcutsThick folio, with more than 2500 woodcut illustrations of plants, as well as numerous other woodcut decorations; contemporary sprinkled calf, spine ornately gilt in wide compartments, red morocco label. A splendid copy of one of...
Uppsala: Royal Academy Press, 1822.
An Australian FaunaSmall quarto, [ii], 8 pp.; uncut and unbound, as issued. A scarce and significant academic paper, this was the first serious attempt at compiling a formal fauna of Australia, in the form of a dissertation presented by Huss before Carl Thunberg, Linnaeus's...
Batavia: Typis Lange and Co., 1856-, 1859. Six volumes, illustrated with 26 lithographs, mostly depicting spiders and fishes, (including seven ichthyological plates), one fine coloured lithograph of a Hornbill, large folding map of the central Javanese provinces of Kadoe and Bagelen, in a recent library binding of dark blue cloth...
Milano: Giacomo Pirola, 1857.
The first guide to the natural history collections of MilanLarge octavo, large folding plan, 61 pp.; in neat modern green paper boards. Complete with the large folding plan, which gives a detailed overview of a collection of international significance, and one which included one of...
Edinburgh: Lizars; and London, Bohn, 1835 to 1866.
A "complete" natural history, beautifully illustratedComplete set of 40 volumes, small octavo, each volume with portrait frontispiece & engraved and printed title-page to each volume, and some 1248 handcoloured engraved plates (see note below), making a total of 1328 plates; in...
Denmark: circa 1880.
Australian idyll and a Hyena's feastSlim lined booklet, writing exercises completed in a cursive hand, original decorated wrappers. Charming children's exercise book with engraved illustrated covers depicting a group of five kangaroos titled "Kaempekaenguru". This idyllic bushland scene, complete with a joey and its mother and...
London: F. Newberry, 1775.
First children's book to include the kangarooTwelve duodecimo volumes, with 117 engraved plates (of 118, lacking single plate); preliminaries thumbed, title of one volume perforated and another significantly browned, one leaf of text ink-stained, general foxing and offsetting; worn contemporary sheep, scuffed with split hinges;...
Ipswich: Printed for the Author by J. Raw, 1802.
Australian bees collected by Sir Joseph BanksTwo volumes bound in one, octavo, 18 plates (4 with original hand-colouring), half-titles and errata leaf, bookplate; an attractive work in early polished tan half calf, banded spine with morocco label. A lovely copy...
Stuttgart and Tübingen: sumtibus J.G. Cottae, 1833-, 1850.
The new science of botanySix volumes, octavo, each volume with both series title and individual title bound in, supplement volume with 40 plates, some toning and spotting; an excellent set in contemporary tan quarter calf, gilt. A magisterial six-volume work, heavily.....
Kiliae: Impensis Bibliopolii Academici Novi, 1801.
Australian insects collected on the d'Entrecasteaux voyageTwo volumes, thick octavo, neat library stamps to both titles, occasional early manuscript annotations; an excellent set in contemporary glazed paper boards, gilt. The first work by the great Danish naturalist Fabricius to incorporate newly discovered species...
Paris and Strasbourg: A. Koening, 1806-1809.
Contemporary of CuvierFour volumes, octavo, 12 plates and 2 folding tables; in contemporary marbled paper boards with spine labels, old shelf markers to spine. First edition. Pierre André Latreille (1762-1833) had entered the Paris Museum in 1799, and became Professor of Entomology on...