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WILLUGHBY, Francis (1635-1672) - RAY, John (1627-1705).

Published by Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1686 [but 1743]. (1743)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: Arader Galleries - Aradernyc (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1686 [but 1743]., 1743. Folio (14 2/8 x 9 4/8 inches). Publisher's engraved vignette on title-page. Additional engraved title-page by Paul van Somer, 187 fine engraved plates by Richard Hunt, including 14 with letterpress captions laid-down as issued, engraved vignette head-pieces and initials (some minor worming, not affecting the images). Contemporary speckled calf, the spine in 7 compartments with 6 raised bands, morocco lettering-piece in one, the others decorated with small gilt tools (joints cracked, extremities a bit scuffed). Provenance: early annotations to captions; 19th-century printed paper lot number (355) at the foot of the spine. Second edition, a re-issue of the sheets of the 1686 first edition with the 'Index Piscium' added at the end, and printed identification slips pasted onto some of the plates. This copy retains the original 1686 title-page, more usually replaced by one dated 1743. Willughby met John Ray, his lecturer at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1653, they became lifelong friends collaborators in a number of natural history projects, including a plan ". to reduce the several Tribes of Things to a Method; and to give accurate Descriptions of the several Species, from a strict View of them. And forasmuch as Mr. Willughby's Genius lay chiefly to animals, therefore he undertook the Birds, Beasts, Fishes, and Insects, as Mr. Ray did the Vegetables". (Derham, Remains, 48). Sadly Willughby died in 1672, and Ray undertook to publish what he could of Willughby's incomplete history of animals. The "Ornithology" was published first in 1676, followed by this the "Historia Piscium" in 1786. Financed by the Royal Society, with assistance from John Fell, bishop of Oxford , the Society's celebrated President, Samuel Pepys, underwrote 79 of the engraved plates, and other Society members sponsored the remaining plates. Despite its importance and sumptuous production, the work was slow to sell. Royal Society members therefore received part of their salaries in copies of the book, and the Society authorised this re-issue in 1740 (published in 1743). The "History of insects" was the last of Willughby's works to be published, although Ray did not live to see this project through. It was published in 1710 as "Historia insectorum" on behalf of the Royal Society, edited by William Derham. Keynes, Ray 46-47; Nissen ZBI 4417 (calling for 188 plates); Wing W-2879. Bookseller Inventory # 72nhr78

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Item Description: Oxford, Sheldonian, 1686. Folio. Recent full calf with 6 raised bands, ruled and blind-stamped in antique style, morocco label. (8),343,30,(1),(11) pp. Engraved allegorical frontispiece dated 1685, 188 copper engraved plates. Slight browning and small stain at the top. Three plates with a minor tear. First edition of the first large English work on ichtyology. The work was a collaboration between Willughby and John Ray, and includes essays on the definition of fish, on their anatomy, and on theory physiology. The work devides fish according into the Aristotelean categories of Cetacei, Cartilaginei, and Spinosi, and includes a description of the reproductive organs and a rejection of the theory of reproduction through spontaneous generation. (Norman Sale 872). The plates were engraved by Poul van Sommers. Wood p.629. Nissen 4417. Wing W-2879. Bookseller Inventory # 28142

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De historia Piscium libri quatuor, jussu &: WILLUGHBY, F.

Item Description: Oxonii, e Theatro Sheldoniano, 1686. Folio (367 x 245mm). With 1 engraved frontispiece, 1 engraved title-vignette and 187 engraved plates. Contemporary blind pressed vellum, small split on upper cover hinge. A fine copy of the rare first edition of the first large work on fishes in England, marking a new era in ichthyology. Although Ray states with his characteristic modesty to be only the editor of the manuscript of his deceased friend Willughby (1635-1672), his share in compiling the material for the work should not be neglected. The text was printed at the expense of bishop John Fell (founder of the University Press), the plates engraved by Paul van Somers under the supervision of Martin Lister at the expense of several members of the Royal Society of London, among them particularly the Society's president Samuel Pepys to whom the work is dedicated.Provenance: Armorial bookplate of Falkenhof.Dean III, 331; Keynes 46; Nissen, 'Schöne Fischbücher', 130. Bookseller Inventory # 7356

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