WILSON, James (1795-1856). Illustrations of Zoology, being representations of new, rare, or remarkable subjects of the animal kingdom, drawn and coloured after nature, with historical and descriptive details. Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood of Edinburgh and Thomas Cadell of London, [1827-]1831.
2° (392 x 300mm). 36 FINE HAND-COLOURED PLATES, 34 engraved by W.H. Lizars, 2 lithographed by [?]G. Graves, after Wilson, Lizars, A. Mosses, Patrick Syme and others. (Plates numbered VI and XXIX shaved with slight loss to image area, occasional light spotting.) Contemporary green morocco gilt by Carss of Glasgow, covers panelled with elaborate border to inner panel made up from gilt fillets with decorative design composed from various stylised flower and foliage tools, spine in six compartments with wide raised bands, the bands tooled in gilt, the second compartment lettered in gilt, the others with repeat decoration in gilt, gilt turn-ins, cream moiré endpapers, g.e. (extremities rubbed). Provenance: George Bucanan (of Arden, armorial bookplate, by descent:); J. Herbert Buchanan (inscription, noting gift to:); John Scott; A.J. Dearden (inscription, dated 1922).
A FINELY-BOUND LARGE COPY OF A BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED WORK. The plates were based on the natural history collections of the Museum of Edinburgh University. The work did not get beyond the nine parts that make up the present volume, and was apparently issued between 1827 and 1831. The apparently chaotic order of both the plates and text is in fact following the systematic order laid out in the 'Table of Contents' and explained in detail on 'Directions to the Binder' leaf - the random numbering of the plates and signatures of the text actually reflect the order in which they were issued (see lot 617). The work includes 11 plates of mammals (3 monkeys, 1 bear, 1 wolf, 3 cats, 1 marsupial, 1 rodent and 1 whale), 20 plates of birds (including a fine portrait of a Great Auk), 2 fish, 1 shell and 2 butterflies. The two lithographs are numbered XXV ('The Ternate King Fisher') and XXVIII ('The Jasius Butterfly'). BM(NH) V,p.2333; Nissen IVB 999; Yale/Ripley 313.