5 December 2006
RICHARDSON, John (1787-1865). Fauna Boreali-Americana; or the Zoology of the Northern Parts of British America. London: John Murray [vols. 1 and 2]; Richard Bentley [vol. 3]; and Norwich: Josiah Fletcher [vol. 4], 1829-31.
4 volumes, 4o (268 x 212 mm). Half-titles. 111 plates, 64 colored (some occasional pale dampstaining). Contemporary plum straight-grained morocco gilt (vol. 2 rebacked preserving original spine, some light rubbing). Provenance: Viscount Melville (presentation inscription, bookplate); Thomas W. Streeter (bookplate; his sale, Parke-Bernet, 23 April 1969, lot 3700, purchased from Henry Stevens, 1929).
THE STREETER COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. A PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed "From the Author" in vols. 1 and 3 and vol. 3 inscribed on the half-title: "Rt. Hon' Lord Viscount Melville with Dr. Richardson respectful compliments [sic]." Richardson accompanied Sir John Franklin on his overland expeditions to northern North America as naturalist and surgeon, adding much useful knowledge to the natural history of the fur-trading regions.
The four volumes of Richardson's Fauna Boreali-Americana include the results of his observations during his tenure as surgeon and naturalist on John Frankin's two land expeditions to the British-governed fur-trading regions of North America. "The influence which this work exerted cannot well be overstated... it was the unique source of inspiration of numberless writers upon the sane subject, and it continues to be a standard authority" (E. Coues, American Ornithological Biography, 4 vols., Washington 1878-80, vol. 1, p. 50). Arctic Bibliography 14491; Ayer/Zimmer 520; Copenhagen/Anker 493; Coues 1:50; Jackson Lithography, p. 28; McGill/Wood 536; Nissen IVB 773; Nissen ZBI 3385; Sabin 71026; Streeter sale VI:3700 (this copy). (4)
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