BUFFON, Georges Louis Marie Leclerc, Comte de. Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière, avec la Description du Cabinet du Roi. Tome Onzième [Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux]
Paris, De l’Imprimerie Royale, 1780.
FIRST EDITION. 12mo. xx, 495 pp.. One volume, no. 11, out of 18 (all published between 1770 and 1785). Roman letter, some Italic. Half title, title with royal vignette, table of contents and text, with 15 magnificent hand-coloured engraved plates of birds (water-coloured). Head and tail pieces. Bound in contemporary French mottled calf over boards, covers and corners slightly worn. Spine elaborately gilt, divided in six compartments with raised bands; two morocco labels, red and green, with gilt lettering. Hinges a bit tender. A.e.r.. A lovely copy with marbled pastedowns.
Buffon was keeper of the “Jardin du Roi”, later the “Jardin des Plantes”, and the collection connected with it, the “Cabinet du Roi” in 1739. He augmented the collection of birds exponentially, increasing it to more than 800 species gathered from all four corners of the globe. In 1765 at Buffon’s direction, Martinet began drawing and painting the collection, and engraved the plates under the supervision of Edme-Loius Daubenton.
Wellcome II, p.268; Norman 370.