Stuttgart, Kernen Verlag, 1909-1954. 20 volumes in 30. 4to and matching folio (31.5 x 25.0 cm). Text and 1458 chromolithographed plates. Publisher's uniform half calf or cloth and perfectly matching later half calf. Gilt titles and decorations on spines.
A very uncommon completely bound set of this rare work. Its fine plates were made using the process of 10-14 colour lithography, and its excellent quality has remained unsurpassed. The editor, Friedrich Joseph Adalbert Seitz (1860-1938), planned to finish the whole work in 1912. This proved to be quite unrealistic as publication stopped in 1954, and several volumes remained unfinished. The most important collections of butterflies were consulted including those of L. W. Rothschild of Tring, the British Museum, the Paris Natural History Museum, the Senckenberg Museum at Frankfurt, as well as collections in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Australia, South- and North America, etc. The German edition contains more text than the English one as it has the complete supplement of volume 4 (published in 1954), which remained unfinished in the English edition. The unfinished volumes 7 and 15 of the German edition also have more text. Apart from the 4th supplement volume, the same volumes remained unfinished as in the English edition. The work was published in 16 volumes with four supplements and is composed as follows: volumes 1-4, Palaearctic Fauna with four supplements; volumes 5-8, American Fauna (volumes 7 and 8 remained unfinished); volumes 9-12, Indo-Australian Fauna (volumes 11 and 12 remained unfinished); volumes 13-16 African Fauna (volumes 15 and 16 remained unfinished). The bindings are near uniform; the shields are of a different colour depending on the region covered. Cat. BM(NH), p. 1895; Nissen ZBI, 3799N.