John Curtis (1791-1862)
British Entomology; being illustrations and decriptions of the genera of insects found in Great Britain and Ireland. London: 1823-1840. 8 volumes, 8 (236 x 144mm). 3pp. list of subscribers in vol.I. 770 hand-coloured engraved plates. Contemporary green straight-grained calf gilt, red morocco lettering-pieces to spines, g.e., by T.Armstrong of London (spines somewhat faded). Provenance: Bernard Hartley (armorial bookplate).
A VERY FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. Each plate also includes a representation of a British native plant, and in many cases the various juvenile stages of the insect. The author notes in the preface to the first volume that "the plates of several of the early Volumes for the greater part, and those of the last and a considerable part of the fifteenth were entirely, my own engravings, and all the others were corrected and finished by myself: the drawings also are the effort of my pencil, and the articles and descriptions are my own writing; for any errors therefore I alone am accountable". He goes on to note that the by Dec, 1839 the plates had "already cost upwards of 3000". Nissen ZBI 1000. (8)