BEECHEY, Frederick William (1796-1856) - Sir John RICHARDSON (1787-1865), Sir Richard OWEN (1804-1892) and others. The Zoology of Captain Beechey's Voyage; compiled from the collections and notes made by Captain Beechey, the officers and naturalist of the expedition, during a voyage to the Pacific and Behring's Straits performed in His Majesty's Ship Blossom... in the Years 1825, 26, 27, and 28. London: Howlett & Son for Henry G. Bohn, 1839.
4° (270 x 215mm). 44 hand-coloured engraved plates after Edward Lear, J.D.C. Sowerby, J.C. Zeitter; by T.Landseer and Zeitter, 2 hand-coloured engraved maps after Belcher, one folding sheet with a hand-coloured engraved map on one third and a series of five hand-coloured engraved geological sectional views on the other two thirds, both after Belcher. (Plate 7 shaved with slight loss, text leaves N1-2 spotted.) Contemporary blue half morocco gilt bound for Philip, Prince of the Belgians, the spine in five compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second the fourth with a crowned 'Ph' in gilt surrounded by a border of small tools and fillets, the other compartments with repeat decoration of small tools and fillets (light scuffing to extremities). Provenance: Philip, Prince of the Belgians, Count of Flanders (1837-1905, binding).
A FINE COPY WITH A ROYAL PROVENANCE OF THE FIRST EDITION OF 'AN IMPORTANT RECORD' (Lada-Mocarski). Prince Philip was the second son of Leopold I, cousin to Queen Victoria and father of Albert I, King of the Belgians. 'Beechey's expedition to the North Pacific, through the Bering Strait and as far as Point Barrow, had as its objective to meet Franklin and Perry and to convey them to safety after their Polar expeditions. Beechey's voyage was productive of much scientific data... and [the present work] is an important record of these achievements' (Lada-Mocarski). The text for the various sections in this work was provided by a number of the most eminent men in the fields: John Richardson (Mammalia, with 2 plates after Edward Lear), N.A. Vigors (Ornithology, with 12 plates after Edward Lear), G.T. Lay and E.T. Bennett (Fishes, with 9 plates), Richard Owen (Crustacea, with 5 plates), John Edward Gray (Reptiles, with 4 plates and Shells, with 12 plates). Despite Gray being given as the author of the last two sections, his connection with this work was not without its problems, in an extraordinary outburst Beechey writes in the introduction 'I wish I could with sincerity have included with the above-mentioned names that of Mr. J.E. Gray, who undertook to describe the shells, but the publication has suffered so much delay in consequence of his having been connected with it, that it is a matter of the greatest regret that I ever acceded to his offer to engage in it'. Anker 517; BM(NH) I,p.122; Fine Bird Books (1990) p.77; Hawaian National Bibliography II,1176; Lada-Mocarski 105; Nissen VB 961; Sabin 71032; Wood p.229; Zimmer p.51.