BUFFON, Comte de

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.

FORTIS, Alberto

FORTIS, Alberto. Delle ossa d’elefanti e d’altre curiosità de’ monti di Romagnano nel veronese. Memoria epistolare diretta al signor cavaliere Giuseppe Cobres, Della Società de’ Naturalisti di Berlino

Vicenza, nella stamperia Turra, 1786.


8vo, pp. 85. Thick good quality paper, plus a final large and attractive folding plate showing an enormous fossil elephant tooth from the collection of Count Giovanni Battista Gazzola (1757-1834). Bound in contemporary pasteboard covered with marbled paper. Ink title on paper label glued to spine, a little worn. Binding still holding tight the book block. An excellent copy of a curious natural historical work.

Known mostly for his “Travels into Dalmatia” (1774), Alberto Fortis (1741–1803), was a Venetian abbot, writer, naturalist and cartographer. In 1795 Fortis was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in London. His addressee, the German Joseph Paul Edler of Cobres, was born as Giuseppe Paolo Cobres (between 1737 and 1749 – 1823 in Göggingen) in the Republic of Venice. He later became a banker, private scholar, naturalist in Augsburg and a member of the Berlin Society of Friends of Natural Science. This work is an account of curious findings found in the area of Verona by the Abbot Fortis, on the mountains of Romagnano. The final plates shows one of the about 1200 specimens, mainly fossils of fishes, in the personal museum of Count Giovanni Battista Gazzola.