Desert animals, including a new cat, plates done à la poupée

Loche, [V.]

Exploration scientifique de l'Algérie, pendant les années 1840, 1841, 1842 publiée par ordre du gouvernement et avec le concours d'une commission académique. Sciences physiques. Zoologie. V. Histoire naturelle des mammifères.

Published 1867
Item ID 71279

excl. VAT

Paris, Arthus Bertrand, 1867. Folio (37.3 x 28.1 cm). Half-title, title page, 123 pp.; seven colour-printed engraved plates à la poupée, finished by hand. Somewhat later half morocco over floral boards. Spine with gilt title. Brown endpapers.

The very rare complete mammal volume of the vertebrates of this famous expedition, written by the French naturalist Victor Loche (1806-1863). "In 1856-1857, he participated in an expedition to the Algerian part of the Sahara, and described the mammals and birds of Algeria in the book Catalogue des mammifères et des oiseaux published in 1858. He first described the sand cat Felis margarita from a specimen found in the area of Négonça in the Sahara, and proposed to name the cat in recognition of Jean Auguste Margueritte who headed the expedition" (Wikipedia). The excellent plates were made after drawings by Vaillant and Werner, and coloured with exceptional detail. The printing technique, à la poupée, is a method of printing in colour in which two or more inks of different colours are selectively applied to different parts of a single copperplate. The inked plate is then printed in a single pass through the press. The method takes its name from the "poupe" (meaning "doll" in French), the small ball-shaped wad of fabric that is used to ink the plate. Usually the plate would be finished by hand afterwards. These plates of the Exploration scientifique can easily be classified as among the highest ranks of zoological illustrations. The zoological results of the expedition to Algeria were published over several years, and any part has become very difficult to find. Old owner's signature and date of purchase in the top margin of the title page. Board edges a bit rubbed, lower front hinge starting; the condition of the text and plates is exceptionally good, spotless and bright. A very good copy. Nissen ZBI, 4630; Wood, p. 439.

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