Temminck, C. J. (ed.)
Verhandelingen over de natuurlijke geschiedenis der Nederlandsche overzeesche bezittingen, door de Leden der Natuurkundige commissie in Indië en andere schrijvers. Uitgegeven op last van de Koning.
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Leiden, S. Luchtmans and J. Luchtmans, 1839-1844. Three volumes in five, including a matching drop box. Folio (42.6 x 29.1 cm). 1379 pp.; 258 plates on 257 sheets (and one double, not counted), of which all but 81 finely hand-coloured, and four maps, of which one double-sized, and all but one partly hand-coloured. Uniform contemporary dark green half morocco over grained boards. Spines with five raised bands; gilt ornaments at head and foot, and gilt title. Speckled edges.
An unusually well-preserved set - without the usual brittleness, toning and foxing. Carefully bound in five, contemporary, equal-sized volumes; the zoology in two parts, and the ethnography plates as issued, in a drop box. This is by far the most extensive and detailed work on the rich and diverse fauna, flora, and ethnology of the former Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). It is largely the work of the German - later Dutch - zoologist Salomon Müller (1804-1863), who was employed by the Zoological Museum of Leiden. The botany is by the Dutch botanist Pieter Willem Korthals (1807-1892). A detailed collation is as follows: Zoologie [Zoology]. Engraved title page; [i-iv (systematic list of the vertebrates and preface)], half-title to De zoogdieren (mammals), pp. 1-228; plates 1-45, 7bis, 10bis, 12bis, 28bis; 1-228; (birds) pp. 1-72; plates 1-11, 4bis, I-II; (crocodiles, and other reptiles) pp. 1-72, plates 1-10; (fish) pp. 1-26, plates 1-6; (Papilionidea by De Haan, etc.) pp. 1-248; plates 1-23. Mostly written by Salomon Müller, Hermann Schlegel and Coenraad Temminck. Land- en volkenkunde [ethnography, topography and geography]. 1839-1844. Engraved title page, half-title, 472, v-viii pp.; four maps (first double-sized, with two coloured views; following three single-paged of which two partially coloured and one plain); plates 1-86, of which 1-4, 6-8, 13-33, 36-38, 43, 46-48, 50-55, 61-80, 82-87 plain; and all others finely hand-coloured. Plate 84-85 together on one double-sized sheet. Plate 14 double: both known states are present: Fort Rotterdam with choppy water, and Gezigt op den berg van Bonthain with smooth water, and the same views with the strength of the waves reversed, and, for example, different clouds, the latter probably the more accurate replacement of the former. The presence of both these plates is unusual. Plate 67 is without a printed number, plate 79 is on tinted paper. This part is completely written by Salomon Müller, who travelled extensively throughout the region. It includes additions to the zoology part including the descriptions of new species of birds. The difference between maps (not numbered) and plates (numbered) is vague: some plates are in fact maps. The third map (a part of Borneo) is in fact two maps, one with colouring and the other without. Botanie [botany]. 1839-1842. Half-title, engraved title page. This volume contains a single paper, Kruidkunde, by P. W. Korthals. pp. 1-259, [i-ii (index)]. Plates 1-70, of which 4, 20-22 plain, as intended. The plate order is erratic. Plate 33 is double, one coloured, one plain. This is quite unusual. In fact, this set seems to have more coloured plates than any copy recorded, or seen by us before. The zoology contains 102 plates, of which 82 in colour, and 20 plain; botany contains 70 plates of which 66 in colour and four plain; ethnography contains 86 plates of which 29 in colour and 57 plain, for a total of 258 plates of which 177 in colour and 81 plain. Preliminary pages (index) of the ethnography part not inluded. This set includes, in the ornithological section, two rare and beautifully coloured bis plates by Joseph Wolf, which were published later and usually not present. Slight wear to board edges; mild toning to a few plates, light foxing of text leaves and plate margins in places, however, by far less than in any other copy we have seen, and all in all a splendid set. Bastin and Brommer, p. 14; Cat. BM(NH), p. 862; Landwehr, 197, 454 (the part by Müller); Nissen BBI, 1092 (under Korthals); Nissen ZBI, 4802; Pritzel, 4829 (under Korthals).
A well-preserved set of this rarely-seen work with an unusually high number of coloured plates