Paris, Levrault, An XI (1802). 4to (28.7 x 22.2 cm). 108 pp.; 38 finely hand-coloured engraved plates. Early 19th-century polished, gilt-bordered half calf over marbled boards. Spine with five raised, gilt-ornamented bands; compartments with gilt vignettes, and with black morocco label with gilt title. Marbled endpapers.
A fine and wide-margined copy of the very scarce coloured issue of this beautifully illustrated work on frogs and toads by François Marie Daudin (1774-1804). It describes 74 species, of which many were named for the first time. The work is superbly illustrated by the best French artists of the period, such as Barraband, Prévost and Audebert. Some of the fine plates are after drawings by Daudin's wife, Adèle, who also died very young, a few months before Daudin himself. This is his rarest work. It was issued in quarto and folio, both hand-coloured or plain, but all versions are very seldom seen. Here on offer is a copy of the quarto edition in an original hand-coloured state. Plates XI and XIII before numbers. A superb copy, not only uncut, thus with the widest possible margins, but also with the pages, entirely clean, except for one small tache de beauté in the lower margin of one plate, however, all the plates unusually bright and with strong, lively and accurate colouring. Adler I, p. 20; Cat. BM(NH) p. 425; Nissen ZBI, 1044.