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Rare and Antiquarian Books

Natural History

Animal and nature enthusiasts will love the rare natural history books page in the Biblio Rare Book Room. There are many rare and antique books on natural history and wildlife, and many of the books in the Biblio Rare Book Room have detailed illustrations and ornate bindings. Many of the antique and rare natural history books focus on a specific region or country, and others are focused on just fauna or birds. Be sure to browse the Biblio Rare Book Room for fascinatingly rare and antique natural history books.

Results 1 - 15 of 781
Plate XXVI Wolverine. Gulo Luscus, Lin (Linnaeus).

Plate XXVI Wolverine. Gulo Luscus, Lin (Linnaeus).: The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America

by Audubon, John James & Bachman, Rev. John .

  • Used
Condition
Used - Near Fine Condition with rich original hand-coloring.
Edition
Imperial Folio Edition
Seller
Langley, Washington
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Philadelphia:: Audubon, J.J.,, 1843.. Imperial Folio Edition. Near Fine Condition with rich original hand-coloring. . A Near Fine orginal hand-colored lithograph by JT Bowen after painting by John James Audubon. (1785-1851). Near Fine condition with a few light foxing spots at edge, not effecting the image. Rich original color, full margins. Imperial Folio (22 x 28 inches) framed to 33.75 x 29.25 inches. Archivally framed in Ecru pongee with goldleaf bevel and 2" gold leaf & burl Neoclassical frame by Lowry-James Rare Prints & Books. The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (Philadelphia c.1845-48) represents the culmination of a lifelong dream held by America's most prominent naturalist and visionary, John James Audubon (1785-1851). Following the completion of his magnum opus, the Double Elephant Folio Edition of Birds of America, c. 1824-38, Audubon was at liberty to pursue a project close to his heart, large scale portraits of all of North America's native… Read More
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Illustrations and Descriptions of the Plants which Compose the Natural Order
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Illustrations and Descriptions of the Plants which Compose the Natural Order: Camellieæ, and the Varieties of Camellia Japonica, Cultivated in the Gardens of Great Britain.

by BOOTH, William Beattie

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  • Signed
Condition
Used
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Beverly Hills, California
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London: John and Arthur Arch, Cornhill, 1831. CHANDLER, Alfred. . Illustrations and Descriptions of the Plants which Compose the Natural Order Camellieæ, and the Varieties of Camellia Japonica, Cultivated in the Gardens of Great Britain. London: John and Arthur Arch, Cornhill, 1831. Deluxe copy on large paper, with highly finished plates. This book "exists in three states, i.e. with uncoloured plates, coloured plates, and more highly finished coloured plates on large paper." (Sitwell). With forty beautiful hand-colored plates heightend in gum Arabic (thirty-six of which are engravings and four of which are lithographs, all by Chandler). Folio (14 7/8 x 10 3/4 inches; 378 x 273 mm). xii, [40 leaves], 41-48 pp. With tissue guard and a leaf of text for each plate. Pages 41-48 include instructions for the "Propagation and Culture." A presentation copy, signed by Booth on the title-page. Contemporary half black morocco over brown cloth. Gilt lettering on spine. Red endpapers. Cloth a bit sunned and… Read More
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Historia naturalis Ranarum nostratium / Die naturliche Historie der Froesche hiesigen Landes
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Historia naturalis Ranarum nostratium / Die naturliche Historie der Froesche hiesigen Landes

by Roesel von Rosenhof, August Johann

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  • Hardcover
  • first
Condition
Used
Edition
First
Binding
Hardcover
Seller
Cottonwood Heights, Utah
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(10), viii, 116, 48 engraved plates (24 handcolored each with an uncolored key plate), 1 colored, engraved frontis.
A very clean copy of the most well known and most desirable book on amphibians. Some plates trimed close effecting plate numbers on colored plates xiv, xix & xx, and uncolored plates xix, xx, xxi, xxii and a small portion of image (head of a dissectng pin) on both versions of plate xix. Faint dampstain on upper, inside corner of text pages 59-74 and a couple of the plates in this section. "The present volume is one of the classics of amphibiology. The illustrations are of the finest and the whole work is admirably done. The title and text appear both in Latin and german and there is a preface by A. von Haller—altogether a very valuable, early contribution to the literature of the batrachia." — Wood, 1931. August Johan Roesel was born into an Austrian noble family in Augustenburg, near Arnstadt, Germany on March 30, 1705. Following the early death of his father, his godmother, the… Read More
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On the Flora of Australia, its Origin, Affinities, and Distribution; being an Introductory Essay...
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On the Flora of Australia, its Origin, Affinities, and Distribution; being an Introductory Essay to the Flora of Tasmania... Reprinted from the Botany of the Antarctic Expedition, Part III, Flora of Tasmania, Vol. I.

by HOOKER, Joseph Dalton

  • Used
  • Hardcover
  • first
Condition
Used
Edition
First Edition
Binding
Hardcover
Seller
Adelaide, South Australia
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CA$18,390.00
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London: Lovell Reeve, 1859. First Edition. Hardcover. London, Lovell Reeve, [November] 1859 [first separate edition]. Large quarto, viii, 128 pages (complete with the half-title). Later half roan and stippled cloth, lightly rubbed at the extremities; a very crisp and bright copy. 'The first important botanical work by a supporter of the doctrine of evolution by natural selection' (Norman, often quoted, but not going nearly far enough in our opinion!). A singular rarity, of the utmost importance. In the concluding paragraph of the postscript, unique to this edition, Hooker writes: 'I would further observe here, to avoid ambiguity, that my friend Mr. Darwin's just completed work "On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection" [sic], from the perusal of much of which in MS. I have profited so largely, had not appeared during the printing of the Essay, or I should have largely quoted it. Kew, November, 4, 1859'.
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Flora Pedemontana, sive Enumeratio Methodica Stirpium Indigenarum Pedemontii. 3 Tomi. (Vol. 3:...
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Flora Pedemontana, sive Enumeratio Methodica Stirpium Indigenarum Pedemontii. 3 Tomi. (Vol. 3: Icones accdit explanatio numenclaturae botanicae). + Auctarium ad Floram Pedemontanam, cum notis et emendationibus. - [GIVING BIRTH TO THE APPLICATION OF THE LINNEAN NOMENCLATURE]

by ALLIONI, CARLO. - HAND-COLOURED COPY.

  • Used
  • Hardcover
  • first
Condition
Used
Binding
Hardcover
Seller
Copenhagen, Denmark
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CA$34,772.50
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1785. Augustae Taurinorum (Turin), Ioannes Michael Briolus, 1785 + 1789. Folio. 3 later hvellum in old style w. titles and tomes printed in black on spines. All edges uncut. Title-pages printed in red and black. Large engr. vignette to all three title-pages. Engr. frontispiece-portrait to volume one. (10), XIX, (1), 344; (4), 366, XIV (= Nomina Generum & Vernacula + Errata), (2) (=colophon); (4), XIV pp + 92 beautiful full page engr. HAND-COLOURED plates. Complete w. all three half-titles and all 92 plates in the very scarce coloured state. A very good copy w. some occasional brownspotting and soiling. Last ab. 35 plates w. waterdamage to upper right corner, only on some plates affecting the actual plate, and on these not affcting the image, but merely the plate-numbering in upper right corner. The supplementary "Auctarium" is in 4to and bound in a newer full leather binding w. gilt spine (Henning Jensen). Engr. title-vignette. (4), 53, (1) pp. + 2 folded engr. plates. Complete, nice and clean w.… Read More
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Icones et Descriptiones Graminum Austriacorum. Vol. 1-3 (of 4). - [THE MOST MAGNIFENT WORK ON...
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Icones et Descriptiones Graminum Austriacorum. Vol. 1-3 (of 4). - [THE MOST MAGNIFENT WORK ON GRASSES]

by HOST, NICOLAUS THOMAS.

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  • first
Condition
Used
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Copenhagen, Denmark
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CA$19,870.00
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1801. Vindobonae (Vienna), Matth. Andrae Schmidt, 1801-1805. Large folio. (50x35,5 cm.) Bound in 3 contemporary half longgrained red morocco bindings, with gilt backs and gilt lettering. Corners and edges slightly rubbed, minor scratches to the marbled covers, a fine copy. (8),74;(1),72;(1),66 pp. and 300 (100+100+100) handcoloured engraved folio-plates. Text as well as plates printed on fine thick paper, all uncut and clean. Plates with tissue-guards and in very fine original handcolouring. Scarce first edition of this beautiful work on grasses by the first director of the botanical garden in Vienna. A fourth volume, also comprising 100 plates, was issued 4 years later in 1809 - it is not present here. The beautiful plates are unsigned but drawn by Johannes Baptista Jebmayer (J. Ibmayer)."The work is a product of the golden Age of Viennese botany, when Hapsburg patronage attracted many botanists, and paid for lavish publication of their work. The present work is dedicated to the Emperor Francis I… Read More
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British Flower Garden
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British Flower Garden: Containing Coloured Figures & Descriptions of the Most Ornamental & Curious Hardy Flowering Plants, Including Annuals, Biennials, & Perennials; With Their Scientific and English Names...[First Series], [Series the Second].

by SWEET, Robert

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  • first
Condition
Used
Seller
Beverly Hills, California
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London: W. Simkin and R. Marshall; James Ridgway, 1823. The British Flower Garden; Containing Coloured Figures & Descriptions of the Most Ornamental & Curious Hardy Flowering Plants, Including Annuals, Biennials, & Perennials; With Their Scientific and English Names... [First Series]. London: W. Simkin and R. Marshall, 1823-1829. [With] The British Flower Garden (Series the Second)... London: James Ridgway 1831-1838. First Edition. Complete in seven octavo volumes. (9 5/8 x 6 1/8 inches; 245 x 155 mm). With 712 hand-colored engraved plates, some of which are folding, by Weddell, F.W. Smith, and others after E.D. Smith, J. Hart and others. With the rare 16 page "A Monograph on the Subordo V. of Amaryllideae, containing the Narcissineae" by Adrian Hardy Haworth. Found in Second Seeries, Volume I. Contemporary half green morocco over marbled boards. Calf ruled in gilt. Spines stamped and lettered in gilt. Top edge gilt. Marbled endpapers. Mild rubbing to edges and corners. Some occasional light… Read More
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Natursystem aller bekannten in- und ausländischen Insekten: Schmetterlinge; Nach dem System des...
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Natursystem aller bekannten in- und ausländischen Insekten: Schmetterlinge; Nach dem System des Ritters Carl von Linné bearbeitet

by Jablonsky, Carl Gustav & J.F.W. Herbst

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  • near fine
  • first
Condition
Used - Near fine
Edition
First Edition
Seller
Middletown, New York
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CA$15,913.70
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Berlin: Ben Joachim Pauli, 1783. First Edition. Near fine. Ludwig Schmidt and others. Oblong 4to, 8 1/2 x 10 1/4 in. (211 x 260 mm), 117 fine hand-colored engraved plates, printed on handmade laid paper. Contemporary half calf with marbled paper boards and a handwritten paper label on the spine, chipped; binding rubbed and corners bumped but binding is square and firm; all edges red; light water stain to the cover and fly sheets, not affecting the plates. Very light foxing on a few of the plates. The copy offered here does not include the plate relating to the entomologist's instruments, which is included in some copies. [Nissen, ZBI 2078]. An exceedingly rare and beautifully-illustrated work by Carl Gustav Jablonsky and JFW Herbst, whose Natursystem is one of the first attempts at a complete survey of exotic and European butterflies, and edited following the system of Carl Linnaeus (1707 - 1778), the father of modern taxonomy, as stated in the subtitle of the work. Carl Gustav Jablonsky (1765 -… Read More
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[AURORA BOREALIS SET OF PLATES] [Atlas geologique] Voyages de la Commission scientifique du Nord,...
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[AURORA BOREALIS SET OF PLATES] [Atlas geologique] Voyages de la Commission scientifique du Nord, en Scandinavie, en Laponie, au Spitzberg et aux Feroe pendent les Annees 1838, 1839 et 1840, sur la Corvette La Recherche commandee par M. Fabvre, Publies par ordre du Roi sous la Direction de M. Paul Gaimard.

by GAIMARD, Joseph Paul (1793-1858).

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  • Hardcover
  • first
Condition
Used
Binding
Hardcover
Seller
Montreux, Switzerland
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CA$13,838.00
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Paris:: Arthus Bertrand, [1840-55]., 1840. Atlas folio (in sheets). 55 x 35.5 cm. 10 lithographic plates with drawings by Louis Bevalet & lithographed by Muller [and] Himely (engr.), 2 additional maps or charts. With the original printed wrapper chemise. Wrapper is a bit worn. Plates are in excellent condition. Very good. HOUSED WITHIN A MODERN HALF-MOROCCO DROP-BACK BOX, navy blue cloth chemise. First printing, extremely rare, of the unfinished publication of Gaimard expedition, containing what is often missing from the main body of the expedition report (probably due to the size of the plates and their non-bound format?). It seems Rudolph Ackermann (1764-1834), the famous lithographer from London, may have also been involved in the production of these plates as his name is on the plates themselves. / Gaimard, a French naval surgeon and naturalist, built an observatory at Bossekop, Finnmark, where he made his scientific observations of the Arora Borealis. There were 10 striking lithographs used to… Read More
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CA$13,838.00
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De herbis et plantis, De Animalibus & reptilibus
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De herbis et plantis, De Animalibus & reptilibus: De Avibus et volatilibus, De Piscibus & natatilibus, De Lapidibus & in terre venis nasce[tibus], De Urinis et eau speciebus, De facile acquisibilibus, Tabula medicinalis Cum directorio generali per omnes tractatus.

by [H]ORTUS SANITATIS

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  • first
Condition
Used
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Beverly Hills, California
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Venice: Bernardinus Benalius & Johannes de Tridino alias Tacuinus, 1511. [H]ORTUS SANITATIS. Venice: Bernardinus Benalius & Johannes de Tridino alias Tacuinus, 1511]. The fifth, expanded edition of the Latin text and the first edition printed in Italy. The tract De facile acquisibilibus is added for the first time as a supplement to the section De urinis. Folio (11 7/8 x 8 1/8 inches; 300 x 205 mm). With 367 (of 368) leaves, bound without the final blank which is common. Printed in double columns, with over 1000 column-width woodcuts within the text. Title page within an elaborate woodcut border and three full-page woodcuts. Two of which are of physicians, and the third is of a skeleton. The illustration cuts are reverse copies of those by Johann Prüss. from the c.1496 Strasbourg which were copies from the first edition printed in Mainz by Jacob Meydenbach in 1491. Newer full calf. Boards stamped in black and blind. Spine lettered in gilt and incorrectly dated 1497. Title-page is slightly… Read More
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La caccia giocosa: invenzioni di Gioseffo Maria Mitelli, pittore bolognese, da lui effettivamente...
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La caccia giocosa: invenzioni di Gioseffo Maria Mitelli, pittore bolognese, da lui effettivamente sperimentate e dedicate a chi si diletta di caccia.

by MITELLI, Giuseppe Maria (1634-1718).

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  • Hardcover
  • first
Condition
Used
Binding
Hardcover
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Montreux, Switzerland
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In Bologna,: 1684., 1684. Quarto. [17] ff. The plates include an engraved title within elaborate border populated with weapons and gimmicks for hunting, a bird-age is shown on the top; engraved "times to begin birding" and 15 plates bearing two plates: top illustration, and bottom engraved text. Later quarter chocolate morocco, simple spine title, raised bands, marbled boards. Fine. FIRST EDITION OF THIS EXTREMELY RARE WORK, ENTIRELY ENGRAVED, BEING MITELLI'S EXTREMELY RARE FIRST PRINTING OF HIS OWN FORM OF BIRD-HUNTING, OR BIRD TRAPPING . The magnificent illustrations depict different bird hunting techniques, all very curious. According to Ceresoli these techniques for bird trapping were actually used at the time of this publication. "The aucupio modes depicted may seem fantastic, but actually practiced in those times, in which game was more credulous and more abundant than now: the Mitelli, then, a strenuous hunter, depicts some invented or modified by himself." – Ceresoli. Mitelli practiced the… Read More
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Vischer's Views of California: The Mammoth Tree Grove
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Vischer's Views of California: The Mammoth Tree Grove: Calaveras County, California, and Its Avenues

by VISCHER, Edward

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  • first
Condition
Used
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Beverly Hills, California
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San Francisco: Edward Vischer, 1862. VISCHER, Edward. First edition, third and best issue (with three more lithographs than the first issue). Title leaf (frontispiece) and twelve lithographic plates by Vischer, with a total of 25 engravings. Oblong folio, mount size (10 7/8 x 13 5/8 inches; 275 x 345 mm). The lithographer was C.C. Kuchel, and the printer L. Nagel. With the exception of the title leaf, the lithographs are mounted (as issued) and have letterpress descriptive text in purple. All plates are loose, as issued in the original cloth portfolio. Portfolio rebacked. Mounted on the inside of the front cover is a lithograph closely resembling the title leaf, but lacking printer's, lithographer's, and typographer's imprints. Mounted on the inside back cover is the "Index" and "Visitor's Guide." The present volume is Farquhar's state A, in a cloth portfolio rather than a pictorial paper envelope. In the envelope issue was a four-page folded sheet with text, which was not issued with this present… Read More
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CA$20,757.00
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The Writings of John Muir. Manuscript Edition. [10 volumes].
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The Writings of John Muir. Manuscript Edition. [10 volumes].

by Muir, John

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  • Hardcover
  • first
Condition
Used
Binding
Hardcover
Seller
San Francisco, California
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Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1916 First edition ["Manuscript Edition"], publisher's maroon leather binding. Number 192 of 750 sets. 10 volumes. Each volume with frontis photogravures with numerous photogravures, halftones and maps. Extra-illustrated (as issued) with added hand-colored gravure frontispieces in the first eight volumes. Portion of an original leaf of manuscript by Muir inlaid to front flyleaf of volume I. Publisher's handsome three-quarter maroon levant morocco with maroon cloth sides, gilt-stamped lettering and floral ornaments on spine, four raised bands, top edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Bound by hand at the Riverside Press. Spines uniformly toned to a dark golden brown. A bit of minor wear or rubbing to some corners with a few just showing. Overall, a beautiful set. "The Writings" were sold by subscription only and could be bound to order. The publisher's normal binding was green buckram with leather spine labels. Copies bound in morocco are excessively rare. Our… Read More
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The Naturalist's Miscellany:
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The Naturalist's Miscellany: or, coloured figures of natural objects; drawn and described immediately from nature

by George Shaw, Frederick Nodder, Richard Nodder

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  • very good
  • Hardcover
  • first
Condition
Used - Very Good
Edition
1st
Binding
Hardcover
Seller
Tokyo, Tokyo
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CA$48,433.00
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Rare complete set of 26 volumes of this zoological masterpiece
24 volumes bound in 12 of the Naturalist's Miscellany and 2 volumes bound in 1 of The Zoological Miscellany by William Elford Leach (the continuation published after George Shaw's death with illustrations by Richard Nodder)
With all 1,185 engraved plates in superb hand-colour
Engraved dedication leaf to Queen Charlotte, 1,065 hand-coloured engraved plates in the Naturalist's Miscellany, and 120 hand-coloured engraved plates in The Zoological MiscellanyA very good copy of this "remarkable serial" (Wood), a monumental work on natural history. Devoted to zoological subjects, and including a high proportion of birds, but also mammals, marine creatures, amphibia, reptiles, shells and insects; each subject is described in both Latin and English, and illustrated by a plate, the majority by George Shaw, Frederick Polydore Nodder and his son Richard Nodder.
Complete sets are very rare, since the work was published in 287 monthly parts over some 24… Read More
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Porte-Feuille des Enfans, Bilderbuch für Kinder
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Porte-Feuille des Enfans, Bilderbuch für Kinder: Volumes I to VI

by Friedrich Justin Bertuch, Carl Bertuch

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  • near fine
  • Hardcover
  • first
Condition
Used - Near Fine
Edition
1st
Binding
Hardcover
Seller
Tokyo, Tokyo
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CA$12,454.20
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Superb set of the first six volumes (of 12) of Friedrich Bertuch's famous Picture-book for Children, an illustrated encyclopedia for children.
Volumes 1 and 2 in half leather, volumes 3 to 6 in original paper wraps.
With all 600 hand-coloured copperplates in near fine condition with superb hand colour.
Text in German and French.
The Picture-Book was published in 12 volumes from 1790 to 1843 and eventually included 1,185 handcoloured copperplates. Bertuch wished to reproduce the magic of discovery, and mixed engravings of plants, animals, shells, minerals, volcanoes and technical inventions in a utopian chaos, so that a child could encounter afresh the wonders of the natural world at the turn of every page.
Although unsigned, the copperplates were overseen by Georg Melchior Kraus and J.H. Lips, after drawings by Th. Götz, C. Graf, C. Horny, Fr. Kaiser, and W. Waitz, and botanicals by Henriette and Conrad Westermayr, F. Götz and C. Ermer. With 118 botanical plates, 76 ornithology, 74 quadrupeds, 53… Read More
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