Natural History of Victoria. Prodromus of the zoology of Victoria; or, figures and descriptions of the living classes of the Victorian indigenous animals
by McCOY, Frederick
Condition: See description
Melbourne: Robert S. Brain, 1885 -, 1890. Two volumes, thick octavo, with all 20 "decades", 199 lithographic plates (including one double folding plate), nearly all coloured and some finished by hand; attractively bound in contemporary navy half calf, spines gilt, double labels in maroon and tan. A superb copy of this beautifully illustrated work. McCoy's book is an overlooked classic of Australian natural history, representing the culmination of nineteenth-century scholarship in the field.Irish-born Frederick McCoy arrived in Melbourne in 1854 to take up the first Professorship of Natural Science at the newly-formed University of Melbourne. For the next forty years he was at the centre of colonial scientific life. He became the first Director of the newly formed National Museum of Victoria and was responsible for the rapid development of the Museum and its collection.McCoy 'built up an outstanding natural history and geological collection, including mining models, exploiting his knowledge of overseas sources. In 1870 the Museum [of Natural and Applied Sciences, Melbourne] was placed under the Public Library trustees… Ever pestering for funds and uncovering trustees' plots to move the museum, he found his best defence and consolation in the popularity and scientific standing of the museum. Annual attendances averaged 53,000 in the 1860s, 95,000 in the 1870s, 110,000 in the 1880s and 108,000 in the 1890s. Painfully he acquired government money to publish serially his Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria (1878-90) and Prodromus of the Palaeontology of Victoria (1874-82)' (ADB).There has been a recent resurgence of interest in McCoy's work, notably with the important exhibition and online catalogue of the Prodromus, 'Caught & Coloured, Zoological Illustrations from Colonial Victoria' at the Melbourne Museum (see http://museumvictoria.com.au/caughtandcoloured).
WILLIAMSON, Thomas (1758-1817) and Samuel HOWITT (1765-1822)
London: Edward Orme, 1807. Oblong folio. (18 3/8 x 23 inches). Pictorial title rendered in stencil, printed title leaf, dedicat...
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