Mission Scientifique au Mexique et dans l'Amérique Centrale. Ouvrage publié par ordre du Ministre de l'Instruction Publique. Recherches zoologiques. Troisième partie. - 2e Section. Étude des batraciens de l'Amérique Centrale.
Item ID 70371
Paris, Imprimerie Nationale, 1874. Large 4to and matching folio (36.0 x 27.5 cm). 123 pp.; 24 plates [numbered 1-21, 17bis, 18bis, 20bis], of which one stipple-engraved (plain) and 23 in (chromo)lithography (20 partly or completely coloured, and three plain). Contemporary olive half calf with gilt-lined borders over marbled boards. Spine with five raised, gilt-stippled bands; compartments with gilt triple cadres, and two (red and light brown) morocco labels with gilt titles. Marbled endpapers. In 1864, two years after the start of a military campaign in Mexico, Napoleon III ordered an additional scientific expedition, modelled after the famous Egyptian scientific expedition initiated by Napoleon I, following the military campaign in that country. In contrast to the latter, the "Mexican expedition" only produced some haphazard results, mainly because the French lost interest after the end of the war. Nevertheless, a few superb monographs were among the published results. This includes the very rare part on salamanders, frogs, toads and dibamids by the French herpetologist Paul Louis Antoine Brocchi (1838-1898). In the preface, Milne Edwards explained why Brocchi wrote this part. The first plate, by Alphonse Milne Edwards and Huët [?Joseph Huet (1827-1903)] is a very fine stipple-engraving. Adler states that the coloured plates are chromolithographed; this seems to be true for the salamander plates, but most frog plates seem to be hand-coloured. Some, mostly weak foxing to several text leaves and plates but mostly clean. Boards and spine in near mint condition, without shelfwear. An excellent copy, rarely seen in such a beautiful contemporary binding. Adler II, p. 101; Crane Library, AC49; Nissen ZBI, 585 (erroneously under G. B. Brocchi); 4694 (for the whole series). Brocchi's magnum opus - the rare herpetology of the Mission Scientifique