LACEPEDE, Bernard Germain (1756-1825)

Histoire naturelle de Lacépède comprenant les cetacées, les quadrupèdes ovipares, les serpents et les poissons. Nouvelle édition précédée de l'élog de Lacépède par Cuvier. Avec des notes et la nouvelle classification de M.A.-G. Desmaret

Paris, Furne, Jouvet et Cie, 1876. Superoctavo (270 x 172 mm), 2 volumes, pp. 12, 668, and 648 with 36 hand-coloured steel-engravings (Nissen, 1969), in splendid condition. Beautiful contemporary wine-red half-calf, including leather corners, with matching red marbled boards. Five gilt ruled raised bands on spines and gilt lettering. Second compartments read Cuvier followed by Histoire de Lacépède and third compartments with volume numbers. Other compartments with gilt decorations. Colourful marbled pastedowns, front and endpapers.

A superb copy with all plates in top condition.

Bernard-Germain-Étienne Delaville also known as Comte Delacépède (1756-1825), was professor in zoology (reptiles and fishes) at the Museum of Natural History in Paris. The introduction to the book, by Cuvier, gives excellent background information on Lacépède. He is described as a versatile genius, publishing works on music, physics and zoology. Lacépède was invited by the composer Christoph Willibald Gluck to write the music for the opera Alcyone. Being a great admirer of the legendary zoologist Buffon of the famous Histoire Naturelle (1749-1804), he contributed substantially to this work by writing the chapters on Quadrupèdes ovipares et Serpents ( 2 volumes), Poissons (5 volumes) and Cétacées (1 volume) ( B.M.N.H., 1903). The present book, of which the first edition appeared in 1839, is literally based on the contents of the eight volumes of Lacépède incorporated in Buffon's classic work. The new issue, however, has many footnotes with new information or views and uses the new classification of Desmaret. Apart of the scientific value, the text includes a number of interesting anecdotes. The excellent plates, showing the animals in lovely landscapes, are from Annedouche, Beyer, Mme Fournier, Manceau and after the painter Edouard Traviès. They cover the following animal groups: whales 5 plates, reptiles and batrachians 15 plates, fish 4 plates in volume one and fish 12 plates in volume two. Nissen,1969; B.M.N.H.,1903.

Price: € 650,00

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