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The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands: Containing the Figures of Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Serpents, Insects, and Plants; Particularly the Forest-Trees, Shrubs, and other Plants, not hitherto Described... by  Mark (1683-1749) CATESBY - First Edition - 1754 - from Arader Galleries and

The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands: Containing the Figures of Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Serpents, Insects, and Plants; Particularly the Forest-Trees, Shrubs, and other Plants, not hitherto Described...

by CATESBY, Mark (1683-1749)

Condition: See description

London: Charles Marsh; Thomas Wilcox; Benjamin Stichall, 1754. 2 volumes. Folio (21 x 14 inches). Title-pages printed in red and black in English and French, text in parallel columns of English and French, dedication and index leaves in both volumes, 220 hand-colored etched plates after and by Catesby, folding hand-colored engraved map in volume 2, "An Account of Carolina and the Bahama Islands" bound following plates of volume 2 (in which p. vii has an interesting 1/4-page laid-on paper repair done before the leaf was printed), etched headpiece by Catesby, historiated woodcut initials (some light to moderate offsetting, foxing, and staining, a few plates bound upside down, supplemental plate19 in volume one misnumbered 20, plate 49 in volume 2 foxed). Contemporary mottled calf, gilt (rebacked to style, corners repaired, joints weak); cerise morocco clamshell boxes. Provenance: 19th-century armorial bookplates of John Spencer, Esq on each front paste-down; engraved bookplates of Harold Charles Drayton (1901-1966), British financier famous for championing independent television in the early 1950s. He was a discerning collector who "learnt to like the best and this applied not least to claret, which he dispensed generously" on each front free endpaper; Laird U. Park Jr., Americana Library. "The most famous color-plate book of American plant and animal life & [and] a fundamental and original work for the study of American species" (Hunt). Second edition, revised by George Edwards, text and plates on paper with various watermarks, first 20 text leaves of volume 2 with page numerals corrected by hand, as often; "DU" on title-page corrected by hand. Catesby's preface details his two journeys to the New World and the development of his Natural History, including his decision to etch his plates himself in order to ensure both accuracy and economy. "Instead of perpetuating the previous stiff, profile manner of presentation, Catesby devised the method of mingling plants and animals in logical groupings, most often with accuracy and with proportional scale between figure and plant. He did his utmost to convey something of the particular habits or movements of each species. Simple though they are, he infused his compositions with a sense of movement and vitality not usual prior to his work" (Norelli). From the distinguished libraries of Charles Drayton and Laird U. Park. Anker 94; Dunthorne 72; Ellis Mengel 477; Fine Bird Books 65; Great Flower Books 53; Hunt 486 (first edition); McGill/Wood 281; Norelli, American Wildlife Painting 73; Sabin 11059. Catalogued by Kate Hunter.
Multi-volume Set


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