The Fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Published under the authority of the Secretary of State for India in Council. Reptilia and Amphibia. Vol. I. Loricata, Testudines. Vol. II. - Sauria. Vol. III. Serpentes. [All published].
Item ID 70273
London, Taylor & Francis, 1931-1943. Three volumes in three. 8vo (22.5 x 15.5 cm). [I(1931): xxviii, 185 pp., 42 text figures, two plates; II (1935): xiii, 440 pp., 93 text figures, one unnumbered and one numbered plate, several maps; III (1943): xii, 583, (vi) pp., 166 text figures, very large, multi-folded map in two colours]. Original uniform red blind stamped cloth with gilt title on the spines. An excellent monograph by the British herpetologist Malcolm Arthur Smith (1875-1958), discussing crocodiles, turtles and tortoises (Volume I), lizards (Volume II), and snakes (Volume III) of which several described as new. This is "Smith's most important work" (Adler). The last volume, which seems to be the rarest, has the words Including the whole of the Indo-Chinese sub-region added to the title. As Adler points out, "At that time 'India' meant Imperial India and included what is today not only India but Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangledesh, plus Sri Lanka and Burma. In addition Smith extended the limits to cover Indochina as far south as the Isthmus of Kra in the Malay Peninsula and into southern China as far east as Hong Kong". Originally four volumes were projected. Only three volumes were published. The quality of the pages and illustrations is far superior to those of the later reprints. Uncut. Label on spine feet. Library stamp on front pastedowns, small blind-stamp to titles. The front inner joint of the third volume starting, third volume spine sunned, but otherwise a very good, clean set. Rare. A complete set such as this one is quite rare. Adler I, pp. 86-87. A rare, complete set of what is "still the most definite work on the region" (Adler)