BEECHEY, Frederick William (1796-1856). The Zoology of Captain Beechey's Voyage ... performed in Her Majesty's Ship Blossom ... in the Years 1825-28. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1839.
4° (271 x 205mm). 44 hand-coloured engraved plates after E. Lear, G.B. and J.D.C. Sowerby and J.C. Zeitter, most by Zeitter, and 3 geological maps on 4 sheets, one folding. (Lacks half-title, some cropping of plate numerals, plate VII shaved at foot, some spotting of text, heavy on N3-4.) Contemporary calf gilt, marbled endpapers and edges, stamp of J. Hatchard and Son on front endpaper (upper joints a little rubbed).
AN IMPORTANT INVESTIGATIVE WORK NOTED FOR THE HIGH QUALITY OF ITS PLATES, the 2 plates of mammals and 12 of birds drawn by Edward Lear. The collections and notes, made during the Blosssom's 4-year voyage to the Pacific and Bering's Strait, were written up by John Richardson (mammalia), Nicholas A. Vigors (birds), George T. Lay and Edward T. Bennett (fishes), Richard Owen (crustacea), the dilatory John Edward Gray (reptiles and shells) and William Buckland (geology). A separate volume of botany was edited by Richard Hooker. According to Beechey's introduction, it was Gray who had caused a publication delay of eight years, and the ship's surgeon and naturalist, Mr. Collie, and E.T. Bennett had both died before the Zoology appeared. Hill notes that the names of two South American mammals, Beechey's marmot and Collie's squirrel, commemorate the visit of the Blossom. Anker 517: 'describes several new species'; BM/NH I, 122; Fine Bird Books (1990) 77; Hawaian National Bibliography II, 1176; Hill 96; Lada-Mocarski 105: 'much scientific data about Alaska'; Nissen IVB 961, ZBI 285; Sabin 71032; Wood p. 229; Zimmer 51.