An unrecorded edition of Buffon and Cuvier

Flourens, [M. J. P.] [Buffon, Cuvier and De Lacépède]

Oeuvres complètes de Buffon avec la nomenclature Linnéenne et la classification de Cuvier. Revues aux l'édition in-4to de l'Imprimerie royale et annotées par M. Flourens. Nouvelle édition illustrée de 150 planches gravées sur acier d'après les dessins de mm. Traviès et Henry Gobin et coloriées avec le pluis grand soin. (AND) Oevres de Cuvier et Lacépède contenant le complément de Buffon a l'histoire des mammifères et des oiseaux l'histoire des cétacés, batraciens serpents et poissons illustrés de 50 planches environ 125 sujets coloriés avec le plus grand soin. Supplément aux oeuvres complètes de Buffon annotées par M. Flourens.

Published 1855
Item ID 65981
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Paris, Garnier Frères, [1855]. In 16 volumes. 4to (26.5 x 17.3 cm). 10,419 pp.; one portrait, four hand-coloured maps, one tinted frontispiece, 196 (of 200) finely hand-coloured steel-engravings of which nine placed as frontispieces). Contemporary uniform half morocco over marbled boards. Spines with five raised bands, gilt title. Marbled endpapers, speckled edges.

The works of Buffon, Cuvier, and De Lacépède went through many editions. This 4to edition offers the complete work of all three authors, has excellent images, follows the Linnaean system, and is in all these respects superior to the 18th century editions. This edition, edited by Flourens and published by Garnier, is not in Nissen; in fact, of the "Cuvier" part there is nothing similar in Nissen at all. The "Buffon" section, including the parts on mammalogy and ornithology, was published in 12 volumes; the "Cuvier et Lacépède" section, with herpetology and ichthyology, and additional mammal and bird plates, was published in four matching volumes. The fine, hand-coloured plates are by, e.g. Traviés, and Acarie Baron. According to Nissen (ZBI 705), the Buffon-part of a similar, but not identical work does not have 150 plates (per the title page, as in this edition), but 163. However, his collation differs widely from this set and doubtlessly refers to a different edition (and so does his number 704). In this set the Buffon part has several plates bound in at variance with the "indication pour le placement des planches", and does not have a plate of fossil teeth, and two bird plates ("Le petit mouche et son nid", and "L'echasse Le tourne-pierre, l'huitrier"), all called for in the index but never bound in, and indeed has 147 plates, including the maps, tinted frontispiece, and portrait; the index to the "Cuvier" part calls for a "baleine" plate in volume 1, but it is not included. Original red and black printed front wrapper of volume 11 bound in. Two leaves with a small repair to the top edge, some very light spotting, mainly to tissue-guards and near the top edge, but generally quite clean and in all a very attractive, uniform set. Nissen ZBI, 704-705 (not this edition).

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