LACÉPÈDE, Bernard Germain É.

LACÉPÈDE, Bernard Germain É.. Collection Des Planches d’Animaux, Pour les Ouvres de Buffon

Paris, Rapet, 1820.


8vo, second edition. A selection of 19 hand-coloured plates showing birds, with tissue guards, arranged as follows: 21 (illustration cut out from another copy of this work and glued on recto of the first plate in order of appearance – 97 – and repeated), 97, 98, 123, 117, 90, 88, 34, 21, 135, 134, 89, 91, 29, 26, 222, 265, 25, 63. “Louise E. Hamilton, 1853” written in pencil on verso of first left endpaper. Half straight-grain gilt red morocco, marbled paper over boards, green morocco label with gilt lettering (“Oiseaux”). Thick blind-tooled pastedowns with low-relief floral decorations. Bound by René Simier (1772-1843), binder of King Louis XVIII and one of the most renowned binders of the Restoration in France.


WARNER, Robert [with] WILLIAMS, Benjamin Samuel. The Orchid Album, Comprising Coloured Figures and Descriptions of New, Rare, and Beautiful Orchidaceous Plants. Conducted by Robert Warner, F.L.S., F.R.H.S., Author of Select Orchidaceous Plants, and Benjamin Samuel Williams, F.L.S., F.R.H.S., Author of the Orchid Grower’s Manual, etc. The Botanical Descriptions by Thomas Moore, F.L.S., F.R.H.S., Curator of the Chelsea Botanic Garden. The Coloured Figures by John Nugent Fitch, F.L.S. [Vol. IV and part of Vol. III]

 London, Published by B. S. Williams, 1885.


FIRST EDITION. Large 4to. Only the fourth volume, complete, out of a set of eleven, plus a number of loose plates from Volume 3 (18 plates: Nos 100, 102-3, 107, 111-2, 114, 116, 118, 120, 127, 128, 130, 133-4, 138, 140, 143). Vol. 4 contains plates numbered from 145 to 192 (of a grand total of 528 lithographic plates) by and after John Nugent Fitch, partly hand-coloured, partly colour-printed. A few slightly browned, without affecting the images. Bound in dark brown morocco leather, gilt title on left cover within gilt-tooled frame with angular floral decorative motives. Marbled pastedowns. Gilt spine in 6 compartments, rubbed. Some rubbing on cover edges. This work set the standard for orchid description and illustration. Orchidelirium is the name given to the Victorian era of flower madness when collecting and discovering orchids reached extraordinarily high levels. Wealthy fanatical orchid collectors of the twentieth century sent explorers to every part of the world in search of new varieties.

Nissen BBI 2107, Great Flower Books (1990) p.149.

MORRIS, Francis Orpen

MORRIS, Francis Orpen. A History of British Butterflies

London, John C. Nimmo, 1890.


Large 8vo, pp. viii, 184, 72 hand-coloured plates plus 2 uncoloured. Original blue buckram over boards, gilt-stamped centrepiece, with butterflies on a leafy branch, within blind-stamped frame. Spine with gilt-tooled decorations, worn and defective, joints loose and starting, still holding firm though. Covers rubbed to edges. Title-page lightly soiled; previous owner’s name to top corner of tp: “Raymond W. Pearce / from W. Hunt, 1909”. Text and images very clean throughout. Sixth edition. No foxing to the plates. A very clean copy.

Francis Orpen Morris (1810 –1893) was an Irish clergyman, with an interest in ornithology and entomology and published popular works in both subjects. 

MORRIS, Francis Orpen

MORRIS, Francis Orpen. A Natural History of British Moths

London, John C. Nimmo, 1894.


4to, illustrated with 132 colour plates (chromolithographs) showing nearly 2,000 moths, coloured by hand. “NEW EDITION IN FOUR VOLUMES”. Original decorated cloth with an elegant gilt-tooled moth as a centrepiece on left covers (blind-tooled on right covers). Spine with gilt-stamped floral decoration, titles, dates and volume numbers. Very minor rubbing to spine ends and corners; very occasional light spotting to edges. Deckled edges. Plates clean, charming and preserving vivid colours. A very good set.

Freeman 2676.


MORRIS, Francis Orpen

MORRIS, Francis Orpen. A Natural History Of The Nests And Eggs Of British Birds

London, Groombridge and Sons, 1866.


4to. 3 volumes, with 232 outstanding colour plates. Bookplates of Arthur R. Pilkington, from the renowned Lancashire noble family, on left pastedowns (crest with motto: “Now Thus; Now Thus”). Some age yellowing and spotting throughout. A Set in dark green/blue decorated gilt cloth over thin boards. Blind-stamped borders on covers, left covers with gilt bird nest tooled as a centrepiece. Gilt titles and volume numbers to spines. Hinges and edges worn and rubbed, covers slightly starting.

Later impression of the second edition of this lavish colour plate book on the nests and eggs of British birds. The author, Reverend Morris was, like many 19th-century Church of England clergymen, also a naturalist. Morris edited The Naturalist from 1856 to 1860 and wrote on a large number of subjects, including evolution (which he did not support), nature preservation, vivisection, and butterflies and moths. But he was most fond of birds, and his most successful works were this series, originally published between 1853 and 1856 (several impressions of the second edition appeared in the 1860s and 70s), and his six-volume History of British Birds (1850-57). “He also supported the causes of bird protectionism… in a rare absence from his parish he travelled to London to give evidence before the select committee on wild birds protection on 26 June 1873. He was instrumental in establishing the Plumage League in 1885, and he was one of the earliest members of the Selbourne League, which was created in December of the same year. In 1888 the government acknowledged his work as a naturalist with the award of a civil-list pension of £100 per annum” (ODNB).


WRIGHT, John. The Fruit Grower’s Guide

London, J. S. Virtue & Co., [1890]


FIRST EDITION. 4to, 3 Vols bound in 6 parts; with illustrations by Miss Mary Rivers and numerous diagrams by Worthinton G. Smith and George Shayler. 43 coloured chromolithograph plates with tissue guards, 3 illustrated title-pages, text with several engravings, and final publishers adverts. Bound in an attractive original publishers decorative binding with black-embossed tooling on green buckram, and gilt titles to spines. A.e.g.

A fine and complete set. 

HOWITT, Samuel

HOWITT, Samuel. A New Work of Animals, Principally Designed From the Fables of Aesop, Gay, and Phaedrus: Containing Fifty-Six Plates, Drawn from the Life and Etched by Samuel Howitt

London, Edward Orme, 1811.


FIRST EDITION. 4to, frontispiece, list of plates and 56 engraved plates with tissue guards. Bound in half straight-grain maroon morocco and green buckram over boards, gilt spine with title (“Deverson, binder Cant,” blind-stamped on top outer corner of left endpaper. Generally clean and crisp, just a little lightly yellowed, occasionally, and some very minor marginal spotting. Negligibly rubbed on covers. An excellent volume.

Schwerdt I, p. 252.


HOUGHTON, William. British Fresh-Water Fishes

London, William Mackenzie, [1879].


FIRST EDITION. Folio. Two volumes in one. Illustrated with 41 chromolithographed plates of fish engraved by Benjamin Fawcett after drawings by A.F. Lydon and numerous steel-engraved plates of angling locales. Bound in blue half morocco and marbled paper over boards, blind-stamped piscatorial motifs, title, author’s name on spine in six compartments with raised bands, upper edge gilt. “Houghton, a Shropshire clergyman, aimed his book at the fisherman rather than the naturalist, and the text (of which there is, unusually, plenty) gives information about recognition, feeding and breeding habits, habitat, bait and so on” (Buchanan, Nature into Art, 168). Alexander Francis Lydon’s plates, which were printed by Benjamin Fawcett, show each fish in what is meant to be its natural habitat. For this work, Houghton studied the specimens in the collection of the British Museum. British Fresh-Water Fishes is notable for its incorporation of the naturalistic backgrounds of the fish habitats. The fact that this work has been reprinted in subsequent editions from the 19th century through the 1980s attests to the quality and interest of the descriptions and illustrations, even though taxonomists have since revised some of the classifications. Wonderful copy, clean, fresh and crisp.

Westwood & Satchell 247. Nissen, ZBI 2009.


SOWERBY, John E. [with] PIERPONT JOHNSON, Charles. British Wild Flowers

 London, John E. Sowerby, 1860.


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. Frontispiece and 80 full-page plates hand-coloured, with 1600 different plants; 2 b/w plates. Illustrated by Sowerby; notes and introduction by Pierpoint Johnson. Dedication on recto of left endpaper: “R. F. Meysey Thompson / from / Aunt Emmie / (Emily Frances Thompson) / 6 Oct. 1884”. Insert headed paper slip, “Buckden House, Skipton-in-Craven, Yorshire”, dated “Augt. 23 1902”, with message for Mrs Meysey-Thompson by …. Heavily annotated throughout with scientific observations written in a neat hand at the very beginning of the twentieth century by early owner. Occasional newspaper cuttings of articles glued to blank sections, and dried plant specimens between pages. Contemporary half green morocco over marbled boards, marbled edges. Spine gilt in compartments. A little rubbed, joints slightly cracking. Very light spotting, plates clean and bright. 

SWEET, Robert

SWEET, Robert. The British Warblers. An Account of the Genus Sylvia

London, W. Simpkin and R. Marshall, 1823.


FIRST EDITION. 8vo. pp. 24, plus two unnumbered final leaves, 6 fine hand-coloured engraved plates only (of 16). Slightly trimmed, age yellowing, some staining and browning, especially towards end. Images vividly coloured and in good condition. Bound in modern quarter black dyed calf and blue canvas over boards, gilt title stamped on left cover, blind-stamped title to spine.