SMITH Andrew,(1797-1872). Illustrations of the Zoology of South Africa; consisting chiefly of figures and descriptions of the objects of natural history collected during an expedition to the interior of South Africa 1834, 1835, and 1836; fitted out by "The Cape of Good Hope Association for Exploring Central Africa". London: Stewart & Murray for Smith, Elder & Co., 1838-1849.
28 original parts, 4° (314 x 248mm). Publisher's small format advertisments at front of parts 4, 5 and 6, single-page slips with advice to subscribers at front of parts 12 and 18, letterpress 'temporary title' in part 1, sub-section title 'Illustrations of the Annulosa of South Africa... by W.S. Macleay' in part 3, five section titles, preface, 2pp. list of Association and expedition members, 1p. errata and indices in part 28. 279 fine numbered plates, 275 lithographic, 4 engraved, one aquatint, most by and after George H. Ford, 267 hand-coloured, some heightened with gum arabic, comprising: Mammalia, 52 plates; Aves, 114 plates (plate 6 a hand-coloured aquatint, 113 hand-coloured lithographs); Reptilia, 78 plates (75 hand-coloured); Pisces, 31 plates (26 hand-coloured); Invertebratae, 4 hand-coloured engraved plates after Charles M. Curtis, EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH 53 UNBOUND PLATES: 9 Aves (nos.6, 9, 33-37, 38,39) and 44 Mammalia plates (7 & 8 both proofs before letters, 8bis, 9, 11-13, 15-17, 19-26, 28-36, 38-53), all in their uncoloured states. (Some generally light spotting and light browning, heavier spotting to plate 42 of Reptilia, old dampstaining to plate 30 of Reptilia and plate 8 of Mammalia, part 3 with small tear to upper margin of text leaf B1, part 13 with 100mm. horizontal tear to first text leaf to plate 13, the extra-illustrations browned and with old dampstaining.) Original cloth-backed wrappers, titles on upper covers, occasional publisher's advertisments on the lower covers (occasional light soiling, backstrips generally somewhat faded). Provenance: Mrs. Wigglesworth (signature on the upper covers of parts 11-17, 20-22 and 24-26).
A FINE SET IN THE VERY RARE ORIGINAL PARTS OF THIS 'HANDSOME AND VALUABLE WORK' (Mendelssohn) WHICH GIVES 'FULL PARTICULARS OF THE NATURAL HISTORY SUBJECTS OF SOUTH AFRICA COLLECTED BY DR. ANDREW SMITH'S EXPEDITION'. The extra-illustrations offer a fascinating insight into the production of the plates, with two proofs before letters, and plate 6 of the Aves: a lithograph by Mayer after Ford - whilst the equivalent plate in the bound parts is a hand-coloured aquatint. Plates 18 and 37 in the Mammalia were never published. The plates were taken from drawings made by an expedition member George Henry Ford (1809-1876) 'from specimens either living or recently dead' (preface). The majority of the plates were 'executed by Mr. Ford, who, it has already been stated, made the drawings; and I feel confident that purchasers will not regret his having been selected. A cursory survey of the plates will, I think, convince any one that they are the production of a master's hand - a hand that depicts nature so closely as to render the representation nearly... as valuable as the actual specimen... Some of the objects described were collected in Cape Colony; others in Kaffirland, a district lying along the sea-coast to the eastward of the colony; others near Port Natal; but the majority on the belt of country which was explored by the expedition... lying between 25° and 27° 58' east longitude, and 31° and 23° 28' south latitude.' (preface). BM(NH) IV,p.1942; Fine Bird Books (1990) p.143; Mendelssohn II,p.327; Nissen ZBI 3868 & IVB 880; Zimmer p.593 ('many new species of birds are described herein'). (28)