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The Natural History of British Insects; explaining: Donovan, E. (Edward)

About this Item: Printed for the Author and for F. and C. Rivington, London, 1798. Hardcover. Condition: g to vg. First edition. Quarto (9 1/4 x 5 3/4"). 80, [8]pp (Text), 36 leaves (Plates) (Vol. 1); 96, [8]pp (Text), 36 leaves (Plates) (Vol. 2); [2], 98, [8]pp (Text), 36 leaves (Plates) (Vol. 3); 96, [6]pp (Text), 36 leaves (Plates) (Vol. 4); 110, [8]pp (Text), 35 leaves of plates (missing plate 171) (Vol. 5); 86, [8]pp (Text), 36 leaves (Plates) (Vol. 6); 96, [8]pp (Text), 36 leaves (Plates) (Vol. 7). Later 3/4 crushed morocco over marbled paper covered boards, with gold lettering and decoration to spines. Raised bands. All paper edges and endpapers marbled. First seven volumes of Edward Donovan's sixteen-volume work on the natural history of British insects. This seminal work was published between 1792 and 1813, and contained a total of 576 engraved plates, with most being hand-colored by the author. 36 plates per volume, except for volume No. 5 which has 35 plates, missing plate #171. Back cover of first volume detached but present. Bindings rubbed along spines and edges. Previous owner's Ex-libris on each front free endpaper (Mr. H. E. Gilman). Minor sporadic foxing throughout. Some offsetting to pages facing the hand-colored plates. Bindings in overall fair to good, interior in good to very good, plates in very good condition. Seller Inventory # 45456

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The Natural History of British Insects; explaining: Edward Donovan
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About this Item: Printed for the Author and for F C and J Rivington, London, 1806. Disbound. Condition: Fair. Edward Donovan (illustrator). 1st Edition. A fair set of the final 6 volumes of Edward Donovan's beautiful work, with 216 hand coloured plates. Donovan issued the first 10 volumes in parts between 1792 and 1801. He viewed the work as finished, issuing a new title, contents pages and advert. He decided to restart the work issuing Vol XI 5 years later and completing Vol XVI in 1813. This set is in largely contemporary full leather bindings with raised bands, gilt decorative compartments, title and volume labels to spine. The boards have a delicate scroll-type decoration around the edges. All the volumes have wear to corners and edges and have varying degrees of wear to spine joints and ends. Board surfaces have some scuffing. Marbled endpapers. All volumes are complete, with 36 plates per volume. The work was issued in parts over time, so the paper quality varies with some being brown-toned or spotty. Vol XI: front hinge rebacked and spine relaid. 1806; with title; advert pp v-viii; text 100 pp with 36 plates; 2 index sections and errata. Damage to side edge of p 63 with repair; plate 385 and text pp 67-70 with some spotting. Vol XII: rear hinge rebacked with spine relaid - wear to front hinge with a couple of small splits. 1807; with title; text 102pp with 36 plates; 2 index sections. Paper brown-toned in some sections, particularly pp 41-8. Tissue guards very spotty and browned - lacking to 3 plates. Vol XIII: spine joints worn with some splitting at the top. 1808; with title; text 74 pp with 36 plates; 2 index sectons and errata. One plate has a torn tissue guard and another lacks a guard. Vol XIV: considerable wear to spine joints with some splitting and some loss to the bottom spine end. 1810; half title; title; text 90 pp with 36 plates; 2 index sections. 3 plates have spotting and only 22 plates have tissue guards. Where present the guards are very browned and spotty. There is offsetting from plates to text. Vol XV: rebacked. The boards are not as scuffed suggesting that they were replaced at some point. Endpapers are marbled but do not quite match Vols XI-XIV. 1811; half title; title; text 83 pp with 36 plates; 2 index sections. Light stain to the top edge of pp 8-17. Contents very bright and clean. Vol XVI: some splitting to spine joints. Boards and endpapers are newer as per Vol XV. Spine scuffed with wear and loss to raised bands. Damage to the bottom corner of the front board and some scuffing to the fep at the bottom edge. 1813; half title; title; text 91 pp with 36 plates; 2 index sections; alphabetical table of contents for the 6 volumes. Plates lack tissue guards. Contents very clean. Please enquire if you would like to see additional images to further assess condition. Seller Inventory # 032830

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The Natural History of British Insects; explaining: Edward Donovan

Edward Donovan

Published by Printed for the Author and for F. and C.Rivington, London (1792)

First Edition

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From: ecbooks (Orkney Islands, United Kingdom)

Seller Rating: 5-star rating

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About this Item: Printed for the Author and for F. and C.Rivington, London, 1792. Half-Leather. Condition: Good. Edward Donovan (illustrator). 1st Edition. A good to very good complete set of 16 volumes in 8, with 576 plates of which 568 are hand coloured. In contemporary half morocco leather over what are likely to be the publisher's plain boards. The spines have raised bands, delicate blind-stamped and gilt designs, and gilt titles. The boards have a blind-stamped design to the leather edges. All the bindings are sound and clean, with wear to corners (with leather loss at tips) and edges, and some light marking to the card, particularly where is adjoins the leather. The red leather is slightly darkened on one volume and lighter on two. The contents are largely 1st issue, with a question over Vols I, X and XIII. Donovan issued the contents of I-X in parts between 1792 and 1801 and, viewing the work as complete, issued a new title, advert, and contents pages. He added 6 more volumes between 1806 and 1813. In this set, Vol I has the later title and is probably 2nd issue. Vol X has a title page with the right date, but a slight variation in publisher and printer (this variant is not mentioned in Lisney). Vol XIII has the first issue title to Vol XI with the volume number changed by hand. All volumes have the bookplate of Paul Sokoloff (a noted amateur entomologist) to the front endpaper, and some have an additional armorial plate, with the motto 'sapere aude'. The contents are clean and in very good condition with very bright and well coloured plates. The original page markers are present in most volumes. As with all works issued in parts, paper tone and quality varies with occasional sections having light toning, and some having spotting. This is noticeable in Vol I with spotting in text pp 45-58; IV with some toning and a little spotting; VI where p 75 is spotty; and XI where there is heavy spotting to text pp 23-7, 59-62 and 67-72 - plates 368, 369, 380, 381 and 385 are affected. There are no tissue guards, but there is little offsetting, other than in Vol XIV. There are a couple of small repaired margin tears; a paper flaw at the back of plate 330; a creased title to IX and p 3 in Vol II; a couple of ragged page edges and a dampstain to the front pastedown of Vol IX. Please enquire if you would like to see more images to further assess condition. Seller Inventory # 032725

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About this Item: London Printed for the author by T. Bensley., 1798. First edition. 4to., [98]pp., 50 hand-coloured engraved plates, tissue guards, contemporary red morocco gilt, neatly rebacked preserving spine, occasional light foxing, a fine example. Little is known of the early life of Edward Donovan (1768 1837). His interest in natural history started with the collecting of shells and preservation of insects, probably before 1788. He was a prolific author and skilled artist who etched and engraved the plates for all his works. He became a fellow of the Linnean Society. Donovan's main interest was entomology and his published works included sixteen volumes of British Insects (1792 1813) and the three 'magnificently illustrated' (Dunbar) volumes on The Insects of China, India and New Holland, the last being dedicated to Sir Joseph Banks, and acknowledging use of his collections and library. Donovan's approach was to show species that had not been illustrated before, and many previously undescribed. The illustrations of tropical butterflies, moths, and other insects set against backgrounds of plants and flowers represent a significant advance in compositional style which seem likely to have influenced others in the ensuing Victorian era, in particular H. Noel Humphreys. Indeed later editions of these books were reissued in the 1840's. Dunbar, British Butterflies, page 48; Nissen ZBI 1143. Seller Inventory # 95140

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About this Item: For the author and for F. and C. Rivington. London, 1792. First Edition. With 576 full-page engraved plates, all richly and beautifully coloured by hand Bound in 7 later fine grass green half calf with use of the original brovn titellabels with goldtext. 2 of them new ,but identical to the originals. The content with ocational foxing but generally the plates fine. A very fin e set of this importanr work. Seller Inventory # 11051901

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