Faune méridionale ou description de tous les animaux vertébrés vivans et fossiles, sauvages ou domestiques qui se rencontrent toute l'année ou qui ne sont que de passage dans les plus grande partie du Midi de la France; suivie d'une méthode de taxidermie ou l'art d'empailler les oiseaux.
Item ID 32946
Nimes, chez l'auteur, and Montpellier, M. Lebrun, 1844. Two volumes of text and one atlas in three. 8vo (text volumes 21.5 x 13.0 cm; atlas 21.6 x 15.2 cm). 714 pp. [xxviii, 320, (2); ix, 354 (1)], 74 lithographed plates (one double-sized and double present). Contemporary uniform pebbled calf over pebbled boards. Spines with gilt lines and title. Marbled endpapers. One of the earliest general works on the zoology of this part of France. The text volumes are not uncommon, but the plate volume, with illustrations by the author, is extremely rare. The plates mostly depict birds (53 plates). Six plates are herpetological, including lizards, turtles, snakes, frogs, toads, and salamanders. Nissen only quotes 70 plates, as follows: 1-74 without 12, 28, 70, and 73. This copy confirms the absence of 12, 28, and 70, but it does include 14bis, 35bis, 36bis, and 73 (twice, both double-sized and dealing with bird taxidermy). One is numbered plate 70 in pencil and this seems to be an error for 74 or vice versa. In any event, the total is 73 plates, disregarding the double plate. ADDED is a very rare, perhaps unrecorded printed pamphlet with the drop-head title: " Catalogue de la collection zoologique de Jean Crespon, de Nimes a vendre " (12 pp.), in original blind wrappers with script title. This catalogue includes extensive lists of animals covered in the book, and much more. Again, most are stuffed birds, and eggs, but there is also an interesting section on reptiles, as well as on fish, insects, shells, jewels, weapons, etc., etc. Jules Crespon (1797-1857) was a tinker, barber, soldier, and professional taxidermist; this list probably contains his inventory as well as his scarce personal belongings and may therefore date from 1857. According to Wikipedia, "En 1844, il fait paraître un ouvrage encore plus ambitieux intitulé La Faune méridionale en deux volumes. Crespon y décrit 27 nouvelles espèces. Les vingt dernières années de la vie de Crespon sont difficiles: malade, il finit par ne plus pouvoir s’occuper de ses collections dont nombre de spécimens disparaissent. Elles sont léguées au Muséum de Nîmes créé en 1895". Old owner's stamp (another taxidermist) on the title page and half-title, some marginal spotting to plates. A few plates bound in a wrong order (e.g. the herpetological plates 64-69). Two plates with an old, small repair, some 12 plates cut short at the bottom with slight loss of the captions, otherwise a good set. Nissen ZBI, 989; Ronsil, 690. A rare French zoological monograph with the often missing atlas