SPIX, Johann Baptist von (1781-1826). [5 works in 6 volumes], comprising:
Simiarum et vespertillionum Brasiliensium species novae, ou Histoire naturelle des espèces nouvelles de singes et de chauves-souris observées et recueillies pendant le voyage dans l'intérieur du Brésil ... dans les années 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820. Munich: Franciscus Seraphicus Hübschmann, 1823. 2° (607 x 438mm). Text in Latin and French. Fly-titles. 38 lithographic plates after Matthias Schmid, 36 hand-coloured. FIRST EDITION. Borba de Moraes (1983) p.828; BM(NH) V, p.1992; Nissen ZBI 3953; Wood p.579.
Animalia nova sive species novae testudinum et ranarum quas in itinere per Brasiliam annis MDCCCXVII-MDCCCXX ... collegit et descripsit ... Spix. Munich: F.S.Hübschmann, 1824. 4° (358 x 276mm). 39 hand-coloured lithographic plates after Philip Schmid. (Adhesive traces on versos of some plates.) FIRST EDITION. Borba de Moraes (1983) p.828; BM(NH) V, p.1992 (defective); Wood p.579 (calling for 22 plates only; 'This first printing of an important tractate is quite rare').
Serpentum Brasiliensium species novae ou Histoire naturelle des espèces nouvelles de serpens recueilies et observées pendant le voyage dans l'intérieur du Brésil dans les années 1817, 1818, 1819, 1820 ... publiée par ... Spix ... Écrite d'après les notes du voyageur par Jean Wagler. Munich: F.S. Hübschmann, 1824. 4° (358 x 276mm). Text in Latin and French. Errata leaf bound in at end. 28 hand-coloured lithographic plates after Philip Schmid. (Adhesive traces on versos of some plates.) FIRST EDITION. Borba de Moraes (1983) pp.828-829 (erroneously calling for a total of 30 plates); BM(NH) V, p.1992; Nissen ZBI 3952; Wood p.579.
Avium species novae, quas in itinere per Brasiliam annis MDCCCXVII-MDCCCXX ... collegit et descripsit ... Spix. Munich: Franc. Seraph. Hübschmann, 1824-1825. 2 volumes, 4° (358 x 273mm). 222 hand-coloured lithographic plates by and after M. Schmid, printed by J.B. Dressely. (Vol.I lacking contents leaf and additional leaf numbered 47 called for by BM(NH), Wood and Zimmer, volume I plate 59 trimmed touching image.) FIRST EDITION. Anker 483; Borba de Moraes (1983) p.828; BM(NH) V, p.1992; Fine Bird Books (1990) p.143 ('Rare'); Nissen IVB 891; Wood p.580; Zimmer p.600.
Testacea fluviatilia quae in itinere per Brasiliam annis MDCCCXVII-MDCCCXX ... collegit et pingenda curavit ... Spix ... Digessit, descripsit et observationibus illustravit Dr. J.A. Wagner. Edited by Franz von Paula von Schrank and Karl Friedrich Philipp von Martius. Munich: C. Wolf, 1827. 4° (358 x 275mm). Half-title. 29 hand-coloured lithographic plates. FIRST EDITION. BM(NH) V, p.1992 (with imprint 'Monachii: 1827'); Nissen ZBI 3954 (with imprint 'Monachii: Wolf; Lipsiae: Fleischer 1827').
(All 6 volumes with variable, generally light spotting, some volumes with light offsetting from plates onto text.) Uniformly bound in contemporary green morocco gilt by J.MacKenzie, covers with borders of foliate acorn rolls within triple fillets, gilt turn-ins, spines gilt in compartments, gilt edges, silk markers (extremities lightly rubbed, some minor discolouration, boards of Simiarum a little bowed). Provenance: '6 vols, morocco 52.10.0 , published at upwards of 90£ unbound' (early 19th-century booksellers' pencilled note on front free endpaper of volume I of Avium listing all 5 titles) -- early pencilled annotations in English to margins of text or plates in all volumes but Simiarum, that to Avium I, plate XXXV initialled 'S.H.'.
A FINELY-BOUND SET OF THE ZOOLOGICAL WORKS DESCRIBING SPIX'S TRAVELS IN BRAZIL between 1817 and 1820, 'one of the most important scientific expeditions of the nineteenth century' (DSB XII, p.578). Spix originally studied as a physician but decided to pursue zoology, becoming curator of the zoological collections of the Munich academy, and in 1815 was chosen (with Karl Friedrich Philipp von Martius) by the Bavarian government to participate in an expedition to South America. They left Trieste in April 1817, and arrived in Rio de Janeiro in July of that year. Before their return to Europe in April 1820, the two men had extensively explored the interior of the country and the Amazon -- the first Europeans to do so after La Condamine in the mid-18th century. The collections that they brought back to Munich were considerable, and included 85 species of mammals, 350 of birds, some 2,700 of insects and 57 living animals; these specimens provided the basis for these important works. The Avium is considered 'A classic and fundamental treatise on the birds of Brazil, with a description and portrayal of many new species' (Wood). The bindings of the present set of volumes are signed by MacKenzie as 'Bookbinder to the King' -- a position he held under both George IV and William IV -- and thus can be dated to the ten years between the publication of the last volume in 1827 and the death of William IV in 1837. (6)