Zoology of New York or the New York Fauna, Part III: Reptiles and Amphibia + Part IV: Fishes, in 2 volumes, complete (the rare hand-colored plate edition)

By De Kay, James E.

SKU# 16091

$ 4,500.00

Pp. (4), iv, 98, xiv, (1), 415, 8; 23 fine hand-colored plates of reptiles and amphibians by J. W. Hill + 79 fine hand-colored plates of fishes by J. W. Hills. Publisher’s original dark brown cloth, ornately blind-stamped and gilt-decorated with a gilt emblem emblazoned on the front cover and a gilt snake on the spine, original clay-coated yellow endpapers, 4to. This is the classic early work on the reptiles, amphibians, and fishes of New York with all of the fine lithographed-plates in original hand-coloring. The subtitle states this series comprises: “…detailed descriptions all of the animals, hitherto observed within the state of New York, with brief notices of those occasionally found near its borders.” Sabin notes that only a few copies were issued with the plates colored by hand and that “it is hardly necessary to add that they are greatly superior to the plain copies.” About 300 copies of the volumes on birds and mammals were issued, 15 with the plates hand-colored copies; it is certain that far fewer copies of the present set on the reptiles, amphibians, and fishes were issued with hand-colored plates. The fine color plates are exceptionally bright and clean in this copy; it is also unusual to find this work in the original publisher’s decorated cloth. Volume 1 bears the signature of herpetologist Hobart M. Smith on the front endpaper; volume 2 also has the old signature of an earlier owner on the front endpaper.

Publisher W. and A. White and J. Visscher
Publisher Place Albany
Date Published 1842
Date Published Estimated No
Edition First edition
Number of Volumes 2
Reprint No
Condition Near fine
Condition Description Light foxing to two endpapers, the text and fine hand-colored plates are bright and clean (only plate 13 of fishes has a few marginal smudges), a few plates show mild offsetting to the facing page, some professional repairs to the outer joints of volume 2; a remarkably bright and clean copy in near fine condition.
Limited Edition