4 June 2003
LOW, David (1786-1859). Histoire Naturelle-Agricole des Animaux Domestiques de l'Europe... Races de la Grande-Bretagne D'après les tableaux exécutés par M. Shiles... pour le Musée agricole de l'Unversité d'Edimbourg. Texte de David Low... Traduit de l'anglais et annoté par M. Roger. Paris; Pillet ainé for the Bureaudu Moniteur de la Propriété, 1846-1844-1844.
3 volumes in one, 4° (300 x 220mm). Half-titles. 56 lithographic plates, 54 hand-coloured, by Hermann Eichens and others, printed by Lemercier or Lemercier, Bénard & Cie, most after drawings by William Nicholson, after paintings by William Shiels. Contemporary red morocco-backed marbled boards, spine gilt in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in the second, the others with elaborate repeat decoration in gilt, marbled endpapers t.e.g. (joints slightly split).
A FINE COPY OF THE RARE FRENCH EDITION OF THIS PIONEERING WORK on today's most important breeds of horses, cows, sheep and pigs. The work was first published in London in folio format in 1842 and was copied for the French market in quarto format. The plates form a highly valuable record of the state of animal husbandry, and include 22 images of cattle; 21 of sheep; 5 of pigs and 8 of horses. David Low, professor of Agriculture at Edinburgh University, wrote the work as a reference for those interested in the infant science of selective breeding. His worry was that the relatively simple basic concepts of matching a breed to its environment whilst improving its productivity were not understood by the majority of farmers or breeders. With the help of a government grant from Earl Spencer, Low set up the agricultural museum in Edinburgh. The artist, William Shiels of the Royal Scottish Academy, was commissioned to produce a series of paintings of all the significant breeds then of economic significance in Great Britain. Nissen ZBI 2565
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