SLOANE, Sir Hans (1660-1753). A Voyage to the Islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and Jamaica, with the Natural History of the Herbs and Trees, Four-footed Beasts, Fishes, Birds, Insects, Reptiles, &c. London: B[enjamin] M[otte] for the Author, 1707-1725.
2 volumes, 2o (342 x 249 mm; 339 x 249 mm). Titles printed in red and black, 285 double-page or folding engraved plates, the majority by Michael Vander Gucht or John Savage, including a large folding map, mounted on guards throughout (map a bit creased and wth small hole along fold, small tear across image of plate 36, plate 221 shaved at bottom, plate 261 a bit soiled.) (Small hole on Z2 in vol. I with loss of a few letters, title and preliminaries a bit dampstained in vol. II.) Volume one bound in contemporary English gold-tooled red morocco, the covers tooled with three gilt panels, the outer of a double fillet, the middle triple fillet with clusters of volutes enclosed by drawer-handles in the center of each side, the inner panel of floral roll and triple fillets, spine divided into seven panels, five gilt with floral devices, red and green morocco lettering-pieces in the remaining, comb-marbled endleaves. Vol II. in modern red half morocco, spine gilt to match vol. I. Provenance: André Cholsen, St. Petersburg (inscription on flyleaf); John Russell (1710-1771), fourth Duke of Bedford, renowned for his botanical interests (armorial bookplate dated 1736 on verso of title in vol. I); purchased from Hammill and Barker, 1963.
FIRST EDITION OF SLOANE'S MOST IMPORTANT WORK containing "the earliest representations of the flora and fauna of Jamaica and neighbouring islands" (Hunt). Physician, scientist, botanist and collector of note, Sir Hans Sloane went to the West Indies in 1687, staying for 15 months as physician to the Governor of Jamaica, the Duke of Albemarle. Sloane returned to England with 800 dried specimens of plants for his herbarium. Vander Gucht's plates were worked up from drawings of these plants by Everhard Kickius (fl. 1701-1705). The text leaves are mounted on guards as cited in Hunt. The binding on the first volume bears resemblance to examples by Robert Steel and his daughter Jane Steel; cf. no. 58 in Nixon, Five Centuries of English Bookbinding and np. 117 in Maggs Bros. Bookbinding in the British Isles, 1987. Hunt 417; Nissen ZBI 1854; Sabin 82169. (2)