60. HARRIS, Moses (1730-1788?). The Aurelian A natural history of English moths and butterflies, together with the figures of their transformations and of the plants on which they feed … new edition. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1840. Folio (364 x 263 mm). Engraved additional title, key plate and 44 other plates, all printed in brown on thick paper and finely colored by hand, extra-illustrated with a loosely-inserted example of the hand-colored additional title: a version printed in black on thinner paper. Contemporary red half morocco over marbled paper-covered boards, the spine in six compartments with raised bands, brown morocco lettering-piece in the second compartment, the others alternately decorated with a large butterfly tool surrounded by small tools, or a large basket of flowers surrounded by small tools, g.e. Condition: without the frontispiece called for by Lisney, loosely inserted extra-illustration browned and with small tears to margins, additional title shaved into image area at outer margin; rebacked, old spine laid down, some overall slight soiling and scuffing to extremities. Provenance: Lynn Abbott Trust.
a good copy of this revised version of a charming and beautifully-illustrated work. Moses Harris was "one of the most outstanding authors of entomological literature during the eighteenth century" (Lisney). He originally published this work in 1778, but by the late 1830's scientific knowledge had advanced to a point where a new edition was called for, as is noted in the preface "it has been considered that it would be most advantageous … that the descriptions given originally … be accompanied by the modern scientific names of the insects figured, their synonyms, references, &c as well as by additional observations". This new material is all the work of John Obadiah Westwood (1805-1893), one of the best-known entomologists of his day. The editor goes on to note that particular care was taken over the coloring of the plates: Moses Harris's original drawings were used as the template. The lack of the frontispiece is bit mysterious: it is called for by Lisney but is found in very few copies of this issue and may not be required. Lisney 237; cf. Nissen ZBI 1835.
est. $4000 – £6000