23 September 2004
WILLAM CORNWALLIS HARRIS (1807-1848)
Portraits of the Game and Wild Animals of Southern Africa. London: printed by H.W.Martin, published for the proprietor by William Pickering [and others], 1840-.
5 parts in one volume on Colombier paper, large 2° (591 x 430mm). Lithographic additional title with handcoloured vignette, 30 handcoloured lithographic plates by Frank Howard after Harris, 30 lithographic tail-pieces. Advertisement leaf at end. (Additional title soiled and with two neatly-repaired marginal tears, last few text leaves soiled, some thumb-soiling to both plates and text throughout, some mainly marginal spotting, a few short marginal tears.) Early 20th-century green half morocco by Riviere, top edge gilt (extremities a little rubbed).
LARGE PAPER ISSUE OF 'ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT AND VALUABLE WORKS ON SOUTH AFRICAN FAUNA' (Mendelssohn), with first state titles, both dated 1840. The work was issued either on Colombier paper with tailpieces, or on smaller Imperial paper without tailpieces. It was re-issued in 1844 by Richardson and again in 1849 by Bohn. Captain Harris, an officer in the East India Company's Bombay Engineers, was invalided to the Cape for two years, 1835-37. In 1836, after conferring with Dr. Andrew Smith, he and Richard Williamson set off from Algoa Bay, by way of Somerset and the Orange River, and travelled in a north-easterly direction until they reached the kraals of the famous Matabele chief Moselikatze. He proved friendly and allowed them to return via a previously closed route. The first published account of the journey appeared in Bombay in 1838 under the title Narrative of an Expedition in Southern Africa. Encouraged by the favourable response, Harris went on to publish the present work based on sketches of the game and wild animals he encountered. Mendelssohn I, p.688; Tooley 247; Abbey Travel 335; Nissen ZBI 1843; Schwerdt I, p. 231.
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