FRDRIC CUVIER (1769-1832) and TIENNE GEOFFROY SAINT HILAIRE (1772-1844)
Histoire Naturelle des Mammifres, avec les figures originales.. d'aprs des animaux vivans. Paris: A. Belin (vols.I-VI); A. Blaise (vol.VII), 1824-1842. 7 volumes, 2 (512 x 336mm). Half-titles, small 8vo. 8pp. 'Avis aux Souscripteurs' bound at front of vol.I, a second copy loosely inserted in vol.VII. 432 FINE HAND-COLOURED LITHOGRAPHIC PLATES by J.C. Werner, A. Belin, Brgeaut & Cie., Delaporte, Langlum and C. de Lasteyrie, after J.C. Werner, de Wailly, Huet, Marchyal and Saulnier. extra-illustrated with two additional smaller format plates (from the 4to issue) by and after Werner, in vol.I after the 36th plate, in vol.III after the 20th plate. (Some spotting, browning and offsetting of text onto plates, generally very light, the 35th plate in vol.V, the 13th and 51st plates in vol.VI and the 6th plate in vol.VII each more heavily browned.) Contemporary French red half morocco gilt (very light scuffing to extremities).
A FINE AND RARE COMPLETE SET OF THIS IMPORTANT WORK ON MAMMALS, originally published in 72 parts (to be bound in seven volumes) under the auspices of the Musum d'Histoire Naturelle of Paris. The animals were drawn from life, mainly at the zoo in the Jardin des Plantes. The majority of the descriptions were by Cuvier, with Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire editing the work and providing occasional articles (indicated by his initials at the end of each article). According to the inserted Avis... the two final parts were edited and seen through the press by Cuvier's son. A quarto edition was started in 1826, but ceased publication (with the 13th part) in July 1833.
The work constitutes the first serious attempt to provide an extensive classified description of mammals: "L'ouvrage que nous publions tait depuis long-temps reconnu ncessaire, et demand par les naturalistes. L'existence d'un trs-grand nombre d'espces de Mammifres ne reposait que sur des notes imparfaites, ou sur de simples phrases caractristiques, et la plupart des figures qu'on pouvait citer l'appui des autres taient in correctes... Nos dessins reprsentant chaque animal dans une attitude simple, et toujours de profil... et nous aurons soin de donner une figure de face toutes les fois qu'il sera ncessaire de voir ainsi les animaux pour les mieux juger." (Avertissement vol.I, p.[I]).
The publication proceeded apace between 1818 and 1824, there then appears to have been a hiatus until 1830, with parts 61 to 72 published between then and 1842. The final part appeared in October 1842. The work is normally listed as complete with 431 plates (in accordance with the Table Gnrale et Mthodique at the rear of the final volume), however the present copy corresponds to both Brunet and the Avis... note from the final editor of the work, who both call for 432 plates.
Brunet II 1535; BM (NH) II,p.656; Nissen ZBI 1525; cf. Wood p.354. (7)