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Zürich, Friedrich Schultheß, 1865. Thick 8vo (22.2 x 15.1 cm). xxix, 662 pp., 368 fine text engravings, one double-sized full colour map, seven tinted steel engravings (one as frontispiece), and 11 lithographed plates. Luxurious rich gilt-tooled original binding with bevelled edges and an embossed image of antediluvian Switzerland. Iridescent endpapers; all edges gilt.
The first edition of a book that was also published in French (1872) and English (1876) editions. The tinted plates show mainly Mesozoic landscapes; the engraved plates figure fossils, in particular plants and insects (Coleoptera, mostly). The author, Oswald Heer, was not only a palaeontologist, but also a botanist and entomologist. This is a very well-preserved copy of the special "Reichen Einband mit Goldschnitt", which was sold at 20 Swiss Francs. The paper-covered edition sold for 16 francs, and is more common. Provenance: small library stamp of the Bibliothek des Prinzen Ernst von Sachsen-Altenburg, and of the German malacologist Herbert Ant on the front free endpaper recto, An unknown old autograph and Ant's small stamp on the half-title and title page top margin. A good, clean copy. Nissen ZBI, 6600.