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Encyclopediaedic work describing everything known about the natural world

BUFFON, Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de.
Oeuvres complètes de Buffon, suivies de ses continuateurs Daubenton, Lacépède, Cuvier, Duméril, Poiret, Lesson et Geoffroy-St-Hilaire.
Brussels, Th. Lejeune, 1828-1830. 14 volumes. Large 8vo (24 x 16 cm). With lithographed frontispiece portrait of the author, lithographed portrait of Daubenton, 2 lithographed emblematic frontispieces, 2 lithographed double-page maps, 6 numbered lithographed plates of teeth, 16 numbered lithographed plates of scientific instruments and apparatus, and 6 numbered lithographed plates of seeds in the first 4 introductory volumes, lithographed frontispieces of a naked man, woman and child, and 26 lithographed plates of human heads and species, of which 10 are nicely coloured by hand in volume 5 on the natural history of man, illustrations of mammals and mammalian anatomy on 469 lithographed plates, of which 226 coloured by hand in volumes 6 to 10, and illustrations of birds on 210 lithographed plates, all beautifully coloured by hand and several heightened with gold in volumes 11 to 14.
Contemporary gold-tooled half red half morocco, marbled paper sides, marbled edges, marbled endpapers. Each volume ca. 500 pp.
€ 5,550
Fine complete set of a special edition of the works of George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788), the most important natural historian of his day with great influence on various scientific fields. The present work was edited by professor Lamouroux, correspondant of the Institut de France, and enlarged with new information by Buffon's successors in the field of natural history, such as Lacépède, Cuvier, Poiret, etc., added at the end of the relevant chapters. The work starts with two prefaces, by the publishers at Brussels and Paris, and two eulogies, one on Buffon by Condorcet, and the other on Daubenton by Baron Cuvier. The illustrations were made under supervision of M. Meunier, draughtsman of the Cabinet d'Histoire Naturelle, and for the first time lithographed, which according to the Paris publisher allowed a much more truthful representation of live subjects. The lithography was done by the Brussels publisher, Th. Lejeune, and printed on special paper.
The work is divided into four parts: Théorie de la Terre, volumes 1-4, with 2 portraits, 2 maps, and 30 plates; Histoire naturelle de l'homme, volume 5, with 27 plates, 10 coloured by hand; Mammifères, volumes 6-10, with 469 plates, numbered 1 - 467, including plate 167bis and 167ter, including 226 coloured by hand; Oiseaux, vols. 11-14, with 210 plates, numbered 1 - 136, including numerous plates numbered "bis" and "ter", all coloured by hand. So, there are 738 portraits, maps and plates in total, and almost two/thirds of the plates depicting mammals and birds are in beautiful hand-colouring, with several of the plates of birds highlighted with gold as well.
Extra added: Manuscript letter by Dr. J.F.M. Sterck, celebrated Dutch philologist, with advice on the sale of the present set of Buffon. The owner is adviced to send it for auction not to Mensing of the firm Frederik Muller, who recently died, but to Menno Herzberger at Amsterdam, who will be happy to come and collect the work by car. Signed and dated at Aerdenhout, November 21, 1936.
With some occasional foxing, otherwise in very good condition. Cat. Natura Artis Magistra 1171; Nissen, ZBI 689; Wood, p. 268.
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Natural history  >  Birds / Ornithology | Mammals
Science & technology  >  Earth Sciences