SHAW, George (1751-1813) and Frederick Polydor NODDER (fl.1773-c.1801). Vivarium Naturae ... The Naturalist's Miscellany: or Coloured Figures of Natural Objects; drawn and described immediately from nature. [London: Frederick and Elizabeth Nodder, 1789-c.1804.]
Volumes I-XV (only, of 24), 8° (229 x 136mm). Parallel English and Latin text and title/dedication-pages. 629 hand-coloured engraved plates by and after Richard Nodder and others, some with colour-printed bases, others heightened with gum arabic, 7 folding, and 3 engraved plates. Index leaves bound in at the end of each volume. (Some text leaves lightly browned, occasional light offsetting or marking, a few plates trimmed touching image, 30 sets of plates and text misbound, a few plates bound upside-down, marginal tears on 4 folding plates, marginal waterstain on plate 347, plate 144 partially detached, lacking vol. I dedication leaves and engraved additional title, one text leaf of 217-218, some text leaves of 350-351, vol. VI and XV index leaves, vol. XIV Latin title, and English text of 542.) Contemporary English half blue roan gilt over paper boards [endpapers watermarked 1801-1808], spines gilt in compartments, titled in one and numbered in another (some rubbing and marking, corners slightly bumped). Provenance: Thomas Walker (bookplates in most vols, with inscriptions 'I. Brewin 48') -- occasional neat marginal annotations on plates.
FIRST EDITIONS OF THIS 'REMARKABLE SERIAL' (Wood), volume I the first issue with [A]1 unsigned. The Naturalist's Miscellany is devoted to zoological subjects, and includes a high proportion of birds; each subject is described in both Latin and English, and illustrated by a plate, the majority by Frederick Nodder's son Richard. As the original Prospectus stated: 'The Plates [are] printed on the best paper ... executed with the most scrupulous Adherence to Nature, and ... coloured with the utmost Precision and Exactness'. Complete sets are rare, since the work was published in 287 monthly parts over some 24 years. Fine Bird Books p.142; Lisney p.312-335; Nissen IVB 869; Wood pp.565-566. (15)