Cameos from the Silver-Land; or the Experiences of a Young Naturalist in the Argentine Republic, in 2 volumes, complete
By White, Ernest William
Pp. xv, (1, errata), 436; xv, 527; large color folding map of Argentina at the end of volume 1. Publisher’s original blue-green cloth stamped in blind on the front and rear covers, spine lettered in gilt and with gilt panel lines and other gilt decorations, 8vo (220 x 150 mm). The first third of White’s work is a fairly dry rendition of facts and figures about Argentina, but the narrative gets livelier when he begins to travel. At one stop, the city of San Juan, he visited a Señor Alvarez, where he was “confronted in the patio of his residence by four Condors, one puma, three eagles and a Patagonian hare.” It was in San Juan that he also viewed the world’s most expensive volume of children’s clip-art: “In the house of a medical gentleman . . . I was grieved to be the witness of a literary sacrilege, such as I never before beheld. The floor of the drawing room was strewn with the wreck of Gould’s magnificent work on the Toucans; and I trembled lest that the Trochilidae, which was at hand in a bookcase, should share the same fate: these splendid tomes, the gift of well-known English ornithologists from the West Indies on their visit to San Juan, leaving their natural use, had degenerated into nursery playthings.” In the midst of his wanderings White did pay special attention to the birds, and published a detailed account of his collections in Proceedings of the Zoological Society in 1882. White remained in Argentina, and one interesting aspect of this book is that although bound and published in London, the text was printed in Buenos Aires. With the bookplate of Perry Alport Molteno, lawyer, shipping magnate and liberal MP (1906-18) born in Cape Colony, South Africa. See also Ripley, 309; Wood, 625; and Zimmer, 672.
|John Van Voorst
|Date Published Estimated
|Number of Volumes
|Front and rear free endpapers on both volumes show some browning, light scattered foxing to the frontis matter of each volume, the text and attractive cloth bindings are bright and clean; a tight copy in near fine condition.