Nouvelles Illustrations de Zoologie; New Illustrations of Zoology, containing fifty coloured plates of new, curious, and non-descript Birds, with a few Quadrupeds, Reptiles and Insects
By Brown, Peter
In two complete volumes (one-hand-colored volume and one proof copy with monochrome plates)
Pp. (8), 1-136, 50 hand-colored lithograph plates + Pp. (8), 50 monochrome lithograph plates, pp. 1-136. Early 20th century full calf leather, spine with five raised bands, lettered in gilt in one compartment on a red morocco title label and with elaborate gilt decorations in the other five compartments, base of spine of each volume has gilt-lettered date of publication, 1776, the word PROOF appears in gilt on the uncolored copy at the spine base, front and rear boards with gilt decorations around the borders and with central gilt motif, lg 4to (12 x 10 inches; 310 x 252 mm). The text of both volumes in simultaneously presented in parallel in French and in English. The page edges are deckled (untrimmed) in the monochrome proof copy. Zimmer (p. 102), states: “Although the book was published in London, the French text and title is given precedence over the English text and title.” Brown’s work, a kind of supplement to George Edward’s A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, was based on specimens in the natural history collections of Marmaduke Tunstall, Thomas Pennant, and others. Pennant himself wrote of the text and supplied many of the drawings belonging to Gideon Loten, the former Dutch governor of Ceylon, a significant contribution that he felt was not properly acknowledged by Brown in the preface of the work. Pennant had previously employed Brown for two of the plates in his British Zoology. A Dane by birth, Brown was also known as a flower painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy from 1770 to 1791. Additionally, Peter Brown was the court painter to the Prince of Wales. All of the plates in the present volume were hand-colored by Peter Brown. Forty-two of the plates depict birds, five are of mammals, two are of insects and one is an amphibian (modified after description in Sale 5871, H. Bradley Martin, no. 57). See also Zimmer 101; Anker 72; Mengel 388; Fine Bird Books (1990), 82; Wood 264; Nissen IVB 151 and Nissen SVB 73. No ownership marks.
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|Condition Description||Spines of both volumes lightly sunned, some soiling to a few page edges in the proof copy, the fine hand-colored plates are bright and clean and very well-colored, a tight and bright set in identical bindings in near fine condition.|