1010. [Entomology - Butterflies]
6 vol. (of 8: missing vol. IV and VI), large 4to. Vol. 1: -xxxiv-1/206-xi, vol. 2: -207/343, vol. 3: -x-132, vol. 5: -152-, vol. 7: -173, vol. 8: -42 (of 157) pp.; 232 pl. (some foxing or spots, some tears in tissue guards).
Contemp. marbled calf, gilt fillet around the boards, spines with raised bands, gilt edges (some joints or/and turn-ins restored with modern calf - especially vol. I, some skinning, somewhat worn).
Splendid (and unique) edition of one of the most beautiful books on butterflies ever published. Limited to 250 copies by subscription, and published in 29 instalments in 8 "tomes", here bound in volumes mixing text and plates (more usually bound separately in an "Atlas"). Beautifully illustrated with 3 plates in b/w showing the devices needed for chasing butterflies, and 229 finely etched and hand-coloured full-page plates (incl. 2 front. and 8 suppl.) showing thousands of butterflies, each with its caterpillar and chrysalis. The plates are signed Ernst, Zelle, Kraul, Fossier, Dovillers, Hochecker, Engramelle, and are engraved by Juillet, Ransonnette, Roger and Swebach Desfontaines. It was the wealthy collector and Tax collector Jean Gigot d'Orcy (1733-1793) who commanded the Augustine monk and entomologist J.L.F. Engramelle (1734-1814) to make a detailed description of his large butterfly collection, and, with the help of the naturalist illustrator and painter J.J. Ernst, to produce a grand publication based on the collection. The complete publication took more than 12 years to produce. Woodcut head- and endpieces.
Ref. Nissen (ZBI) 1300. - Brunet II:1048-1049. - BnF. - Jean-Yves Cordier (article http://www.lavieb-aile.com/article-histoire-des-noms-francais-de-papillon-ii-engramelle-119754156.html).
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