Paris, Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle, 1802-1897. 84 volumes in100 parts. Large 4to (slightly differing dimensions per series, the largest being the last series, at 32.0 x 25.0 cm). 2,048 copper engravings and lithographed plates of which many double-sized or larger, and/or hand-coloured or in chromolithography, and seven portraits. Contemporary uniform marbled boards with morocco labels on the spines in different colours for the different series; original printed wrappers of several issues bound in (Annales, Mémoires, Nouvelle Annales), and near contemporary uniform cloth bindings with red morocco labels (Archives and Nouvelles Archives, first series), and original printed wrappers (last two series of the Nouvelles Archives).
Very rare set, seldom seen complete, of the most important scientific natural history journal published in France during the 19th century. There are in total 84 volumes in 4to with more than 2,000 engraved and lithographed plates, of which over 250 are hand-coloured or in chromolithography. This work contains the contributions of all the famous French naturalists of the 19th century, in many cases the first publication(s) of these authors, or at least in their first editions, and often their most important research and results. In the Annales, for instance, Cuvier published his important series on molluscan anatomy, while his rival Lamarck contributed with his monograph of the fossil shells of the Paris Basin. Ornithology is well-represented. For instance: De Blainville "Le Dodo, autrement Dronte (Didus ineptus L.)" with four lithographed plates one being a beautiful hand-coloured head of the dodo by G. de Bièrre. Another important "first" is Geoffroy St-Hilaire's "Descriptions des mammifères nouveaux ou imparfaitement connus: famille des singes" with eight lithographed plates of which two are coloured, one of which is the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes L.) and appears to be the first monograph, antedating that of Owen by seven years. A herpetological treasure is De Blainville's "Description de quelques espèces de reptiles de la Californie". Throughout each series there is also a great deal on entomology, and more on conchology/malacology, including palaeontology, ichthyology and studies on crustaceans. Authors included are Cuvier, Valenciennes, Audouin, Lamarck, Becquerel, H. and A. Milne-Edwards, Brongniart, Jussieu, Tulasne, De Serres, Duméril, Thouin, Deleuze, Fourcroy, Vauquelin, a.o. Among the entomological titles, for example, are the following works by Lyonet: "Anatomie de différentes especes d'insectes" (a long series, with plates by W. de Haan), Lacordaire's "Essai sur les coléoptères de la Guyane Française"; an illustrated paper by Boisduval on Macrolepidoptera from Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion, inaptly titled "Considérations générales"; Audouin and Brullé's "Description des espèces nouvelles ou peu connues de la famille des cicindelètes", with nice large hand-coloured plates, Raffray's "Coléoptères de la famille des paussides"; Paul Gervais' paper titled "remarques sur la famille des scorpions et description de plusiers espèces nouvelles de la collection du Muséum", and more. Père David, the first westerner to see a deer named after him as well as the giant panda, published his travel diaries in the Nouvelles Archives, with many zoological observations, and this came with a string of papers by Vaillant, Sauvage, Heude, and others on the specimens of birds, fish, molluscs and other animals he collected. Over the years many papers included in this series have been sold separately for considerable prices. In all, it can be stated that these publications by the natural history museum of Paris do not only contain a great deal of zoological, palaeontological, geological and (bio)chemical observations and discoveries, but also provided a platform for many new ideas and concepts about how the natural world is organized and how it is developing. Some rubbing to boards, and especially to spine ends. Ten parts of the "Nouvelles Archives" with renewed spine, a few text parts with brittle edges (and, however, very wide margins), a few text sections and plates spotted or age-toned, but much less so than usual; a few sections, including plates with some offsetting (more obtrusive in a few sections of the "Mémoires"), some minor creasing, a few captions shaved and some minor, usually marginal damp staining. This set ends with "Nouvelles Archives series III, volume 9(1)"; one more part and one more volume were published before the start of the fourth series. By then, however, the great era of descriptive zoology and botany, with large and lavishly hand-coloured plates, had come to an end. On request, we can offer a complete collation for a detailed list of irregularities, including reversals of plate orders (including plate 5 of "Nouvelles Archives volume 4", which was perhaps issued later and here bound in volume 5). In all, a very impressive set. Nissen ZBI, 4551, 4552, 4560, 4561, 4677.