Histoire naturelle des singes, peints d'après nature. [AND] Histoire naturelle [des singes et] des makis. [Complete].
Item ID 71213
Paris, l'Auteur, [AND] H. J. Jansen, 1797-[An 8 = 1799]. Two volumes in one. Folio (49.2 x 31.8 cm). Three half-titles, two title pages; 178 pp. [24, 4, 4, 10, 4, 8, 10, 24, 14, 8, 10, 8, 44, iv, 2]; 63 engraved plates of which 61 finely colour-printed, with additional original hand-colouring, and two plain, as intended. Contemporary, empire style, full calf. Boards with triple gilt borders and embossed floral vignettes, central vignette of a lyre. Spine with seven raised bands, gilt vignettes (vases) and morocco label with gilt title. Later marbled endpapers. One of the most beautiful works on primates, including apes, monkeys, lemurs, and lorisoids, as well as the "flying" colugos. "This is the first original work of Audebert, the distinguished French naturalist and artist. The figures were drawn and colored after a special process invented by himself" (Wood). The two anatomical plates are plain engravings, mainly showing bones and skulls. The text is complete, including the list of subscribers and three half-titles (one to the singes, one to the makis, one to both). Jean Baptiste Audebert (1759-1800) "...studied painting and drawing at Paris, and gained considerable reputation as a miniature-painter. Employed in preparing plates for the Histoire des Coléoptères of Guillaume-Antoine Olivier, he acquired a taste for natural history. His first original work, Histoire naturelle des singes appeared in 1800, illustrated by sixty-two folio plates, drawn and engraved by himself. The coloring in these plates was unusually beautiful, and was applied by a method devised by himself" (Wikipedia). Binding rather worn, leather scuffed; spine head, foot and upper compartment rebacked. Weak damp stain to part of the top margin of plate II; half-title to the "makis" foxed; locally a few spots, mainly on the blank plate versos, but generally very clean; tiny hole in one plate margin; worm hole in the inner margin of the last six text leaves. In all a good, internally very good, complete copy of this rare work. Nissen ZBI, 156; Wood, p. 206. Primatology at its most beautiful - by an artist turned scientist