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Simeon Shaw, Nature Displayed 6 volumes. London 1823

Simeon Shaw, Nature Displayed 6 volumes. London 1823

by Shaw, Simeon

6 books. Nature Displayed in the Heavens, and on the Earth, according to the latest Observations and Discoveries, By Simeon Shaw, L.L.D. London, 1823. Printed for Sir Richard Phillips. Published by G. and W.B. Whitaker, Ave-Maria Lane.
".. Course of Lectures, on every branch of the Study of Nature, the first Thirty have been chiefly devoted to inanimate subjects – the next Thirty-Four to minute organized Beings, and exotic larger Animals; except so far as they are at once native and exotic – and the subsequent portions to British Animals, Birds, and Insects separately, and afterwards to Vegetation in all its varieties.”
The original binding is quarter bound leather with marbled paper covers and leather protecting corners. Raised bands with gold and blind tooling on the spine. This quality binding has marbled edges of the text block to match the covers. Slight rubs to endboards and slight splitting of some endpapers at spine. Internally all volumes are remarkably clean with little exception.
Pages are 20cm tall x 12cm (8 x 4 5/8 inches).
The Falls of Niagra frontispiece folds out to a width of 57.5cm! There are many large fold-out engraved illustrations – usually to 25cm. All illustrations have comprehensive descriptions at the front or rear of the volumes.
This six volume work was published with black and white engravings, or for a higher price, “with a considerable proportion of the Botanical and Natural History Subjects beautifully Coloured.” The subjects for the Engravings have been chosen chiefly for their rarity, curiosity, or striking effect. “…the curiosity has been respected of Purchasers of English Books in all Countries… and a Work like the present may be expected to find its way even into the Interior of Asia, Africa, or America, where objects familiar to ourselves will afford as much gratification as we enjoy from the contemplation of rare exotics.”
Volume I - Earth, Geology, Solar System, Sound, Electricity, Oceans, Geography..
Volume II (front three pages adrift at top of spine) - Geography, Geology, Organic Remains, Fossils..
Volume III (professionally laid-down half-page of frontispiece, Silver Sea Pen and Red Sea Pen) - Zoophytes, Fuci, Coral, Polyps, Worms, Microscopic Objects, large section on Insects, Fish, Aquatic Animals. There are spectacular large engraving, microscope images of Flea, Louse, Testaceous Bodies and Their Animals, Blue Bottle Fly, and (single page) Cheese Mites! There’s also a large plate of spiders in a web. The most unusual Termite Pyramids and Termite Ant-hills share a page as half-size engravings. There is even a paragraph from Captain Cook’s expedition, describing Green Ants, Black Ants and Red Ants of New South Wales (as Cook named all the east coast of Australia in 1770).
Volume IV - Amphibia (includes reptiles), Mammifera, Quadrupeds, Birds, Man, Human Life and Disease (with table of London deaths from 1796 to 1821 with ages and causes). (Superb engravings of Lion, Elephant, Rhinoceros. Very unusual Hippopotamus..)
Volume V (foxing of facing pages to fold-out Frontispiece (also foxed) of “The Economy of Bees” which shows details of bees, their transformation, host plants, beehive and honeycomb.) Many birds and insects are coloured. - British Animals, British Birds, British Zoophytes and Testace, British Insects, and Vegetation.
Volume VI (slightly rubbed at top of spine) - Vegetation, with many multi-foldout engravings.
At least 16 of 244 plates missing. Missing pages and plates were absent when bound. Perhaps the hand-colour commitment was too difficult to provide.. If you would like more detail on contents, please email me. This is a great set of beautifully bound books. Great reading and great illustrations!
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Stock Number: ab.1823Price: $1,500.00