Fauna Caspio-Caucasia nonnullis observationibus novis illustravit
By Eichwald, Eduardus
Pp. (ii, title page + censor’s page), (i)-iv, (1)-233, (2, corrigenda); 40 lithographed plates (34 are hand-colored: plates 1, 3-6, 10-12, 14-39). Contemporary one-half polished tan morocco leather, spine is titled in gilt and with ornate gilt spiral designs above and below the title, head and foot of spine with gilt panel lines, over original marbled boards, folio (13.5 x 10.5 inches; 34.5 x 26.5 centimeters). This book presents Eichwald’s collections from his expedition of 1825-1826 to the Caucasus, the border regions of the Caspian Sea, and northwestern Persia (=Iran), prior to the Russo-Persian War of 1826-1828. A large portion of this book is herpetological in content including text on pages 44-128 and 29 of the 40 lithographed plates of which 25 are hand-colored (the four uncolored plates are of lizard osteology). Eichwald reviewed three species of turtles, 22 of lizards, 19 of snakes, and six frog species. Eichwald’s descriptions in Fauna Caspio-Caucasia are highly detailed. He also used this opportunity to re-describe and illustrate most of his new herpetological taxa; additionally he re-describes new herpetological species that had been briefly described in two other publications. Eichwald named no new species in this book, but placed some of his earlier names in synonymy. This work also includes a detailed discussion of the osteology of Psammosaurus caspius (=Varanus griseus), illustrated with three uncolored plates (numbers 7-9). The artists that created the lithographed plates are A. Davignon and Wilhelm H. Pape. This work is exceedingly rare. No copies have come up for auction in the last 35 years. During the last 50 years only a few copies of the work have changed hands through dealer’s catalogues of natural history books. Ornate armorial bookplate with a Russian coat of arms on the front endpaper, second bookplate of herpetologist Kraig Adler is mounted below. See also BMNH 2: 518 and Casey Wood p. 330.
|Publisher||Litteris Typographiae Diarii Gall. Politic. Petropoli|
|Publisher Place||Petropoli (=St. Petersburg)|
|Date Published Estimated||No|
|Number of Volumes||1|
|Condition Description||Light foxing to the title page and table of contents, one faint crease to the upper outer corner of first section of the text, light edge wear to the outer marbled boards, the remainder of the text and all of the fine lithographed plates are bright and clean; a tight copy in near fine condition.|