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BONNATERRE, Pierre, Joseph (1752-1804)

Tableau encyclopédique et méthodique des trois règnes de la nature. Ichtyologie.

Panckoucke, Paris, 1788. First and only Edition. Quarto (294 x 221 mm), LVI, 215 and 102 plates. Contemporary leather binding of full mottled dark-brown sheep. Five raised bands on spines with gilt lettering and elaborately gilt decorations. Second compartment with dark-brown label reads Encyclopedie, Tom. 130. Fourth compartement with black label reads Histoire Naturelle. Poissons. All edges yellow-green. Colourful marbled pastedowns, front and endpapers. Covers and hinges slightly rubbed. Most copies of Bonnaterre's work are issued with paper boards. These copies are, in general, in a very poor state of preservation. The present copy is made by a contemporary binder, who maintained the high standards in hand work.

An exceptionally well preserved and handsome copy with all plates in top condition. Provenance: Small modest stamp with Herzoglich Lichtenberg Naturaliencabinett on title page.

Bonnaterre (1752 -1804), a priest in the Rouergue and professor at the central school of Rhodes, had been assigned by the publisher Panckoucke to contribute to the Encyclopédie méthodique, dealing with mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes and insects. He composed an extensive text for the part on fishes and availed himself of the works of most of the earlier authors and collected drawings of more than 400 species. He copied many of the drawings by Bloch (1784-1788) and when these were not available he took them from the works of Gouan (1770), Broussonet (1782), Pennant (1767) and others. When these authors failed him he even returned to the classics like Willughby (1743), Rondelet (1554), Salviani (1554-1558) and Piso (1648).

Price: € 1.800,00

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