PETERS, Wilhelm Carl Hartwig (1815-1883). Naturwissenschaftliche Reise nach Mossambique ... in den Jahren 1842 bis 1848 ausgeführt. Berlin: Georg Reimer, 1852-1882. 6 parts bound in 8 volumes, 2°. 210 plates, 141 lithographic 68 of these hand-coloured, 69 engraved 43 hand-coloured. Various bindings.
A VERY RARE COMPLETE SET OF THIS PIONEERING AND IMPORTANT SERIES ON THE NATURAL HISTORY OF MOZAMBIQUE, including the plates from the unpublished section on birds. Wilhelm Peters was a student of and successor to Johannes Müller as professor of Zoology and director of the Zoological Museum at the Royal University of Berlin. Early in his career, from 1842 to 1848, he spent a number of years in the field travelling in South Africa, India and of course East Africa and Mozambique.
He was helped in the preparation of this work by an accomplished group of natural historians including Garcke, Klotsch and Steetz. This work was one of the few transitional large-scale natural history works which combined a text which demonstrated a very modern approach (an insistence on the highest levels of scientific accuracy), with plates that have a beauty not found with later automated printing methods. The bird plates seem to be particularly rare: neither Nissen nor Stafleu & Cowan mention them, merely noting that Part 2 was not published.
The set comprises:
1. [Mammals] - ... Zoologie. I. Sägethiere. Berlin: 1852. 2° (439 x 308 mm). Half-title. 46 plates by or after J.D.L. Franz Wagner, Hugo Troschel, A. Andorff, C. Haas and others (14 engravings, 10 hand-coloured, 32 lithographs, 25 hand-coloured). (Title, 22 plates and some text leaves spotted, occasional slight damage to lower blank margins of text leaves 81-431.) Contemporary red morocco gilt, gilt edges (scuffed, upper cover soiled).
2. [Birds] - [...Zoologie. II. Vogel] 15 hand-coloured lithographic plates by J.D.L. Franz Wagner, sheet size approx. 515 x 345 mm. Unbound as issued (?) within later cloth-backed portfolio. These plates were all that were published of this part: no text was printed.
3. [Amphibians] - ...Zoologie. III. Amphibien. Berlin: 1882. 2° (449 x 3432mm). Half-title. 33 lithographic plates by Wager, W.A. Meyn, Euen Duval, 28 hand-coloured. (19 plates spotted, occasional slight damage to lower blank margins of text leaves 231-291.) Contemporary brown half morocco, spine gilt, top edge gilt (rubbed, joints splitting, spine chipped at head and foot).
4. [River Fish] - ... Zoologie. IV. Flussfische. Berlin: 1868. 2° (503 x 342mm). Half-title. 20 engraved plates by A. Andorff, Wagenscheiber or C. Haas, 3 hand-coloured. (18 plates, title and preliminaries and some other text leaves spotted or browned.) Original cloth-backed boards, paper label to spine (soiled, spine faded, label rubbed and discoloured).
5. [Insects] - ...Zoologie. V. Insecten und Myriapoden. Bearbeitet un verbindung, mit Klug, Loew, Schaum, Hagen, Gerstaecker, Hopffer. Berlin: 1862. 2° (487 x 315 mm). Half-title. 35 engraved plates by Wagenscheiber and Wienker, 33 hand-coloured. (Occasional spotting to text and to about 10 plates, 5 plates with old dampstaining to outer blank margins, occasional slight damage to lower blank margins of text leaves 311-671.) Original cloth-backed boards, paper label to spine (worn).
6. [Botany] - ...Botanik. Bearbeitet von Andersson, Bökeler, Bolle, Braun, Garcke, Hasskarl, Klatt, Klotsch, Kunth, Müller, Reichenbach, Steetz. Berlin: 1862-1864. 2 volumes, 2° (vol.I: 485 x 325mm; vol.II: 503 x 342 mm). Half-titles. 61 lithographic plates by J.D.L. Franz Wagner. (Spotting or old dampstaing to plates, titles and some text.) Original cloth-backed boards, paper label to each spine (worn).
K.Adler, Contributions to the History of Herpetology (1989) p.37; BM(NH) IV,p.1555; Embacher 229; Horn/Schenkling 17099; Nissen ZBI 3139; Stafleu & Cowan 7759. (7)