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Natural History Art, Mammals, Kangaroo and Potoroo, Atlas Zoologique, Antique Print, 1824

$1,600

Louis-Claude de Saulces de Freycinet (1779-1842) (author)
A. Prévost (after)
Coutant (engraver)
Kanguroo Laineux: (Kangurus Laniger. N.), Plate 9 [Wooly Kangaroo]
Potoroo White, Male: (Hypsiprymnus White. N.) Plate 10

from Voyage autour du monde fait par ordre du Roi, sur les corvettes de Sa Majesté l’Uranie et la Physicienne, pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820: Atlas Zoologique
Langlois, Paris: 1824
Hand-colored engravings
9.25 x 12.50 inches, plate mark
12.5 x 18.75 inches, overall
$1,600, the pair

This rare pair of prints of Australian marsupials is from a series ranking among the finest natural history studies ever made. One plate shows a kangaroo; the other shows a male potoroo, a small, rabbit-sized kangaroo-like animal. Each is depicted in profile and isolated against a white background, standing on a small section of grass. They are precisely delineated down to the texture of the fur and their scale, which is given in small inscriptions beneath each image as 1/2 actual size for the potoroo and 1/9 for the kangaroo. The drawing of the potoroo also includes a drawing of the skull in profile labeled “a. Sa tête” [figure a: its head].

Product Description Continues Below

Description

The prints were issued in the Atlas Zoologique section of the official report by Louis-Claude de Saulces de Freycinet (1779-1842) on his voyage to the Pacific in the corvettes Uranie and Physicienne from 1817-20. There are 96 plates of birds, fish, shells, vertebrates and other animals in the complete atlas, 77 of which were printed in color and finished by hand.

The Uranie, with a crew of 123 men — and Freycinet’s wife Rose, who was smuggled on board, and became the first white woman to land in Western Australia — entered the Pacific from the west. Freycinet was charged by the French government to make scientific observations on natural history, geography, magnetism, and meteorology and the measurement of the southern hemisphere. The voyagers visited Australia, the Hawaiian Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Rio de Janeiro and Tierra del Fuego and recorded a large number of highly exotic zoological specimens, many of which were new to science. These were drawn by excellent French natural history artists of the day for this report, including Oudart and Prévost.

Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidifed, with some light remaining toning, wear, soft creases and light irregularities to outer edges.

References:

Brunet, Jacques-Charles. Manuel du Libraire et de l’Amateur de Livres. Berlin: Josef Altmann, 1922 (reprint). 1392.

Nissen, Claus. Die Zoologische Buchillustration: ihre Bibliographie und Geschichte. Stuttgart: 1969-78. 1425

Sabin, Joseph, Wilberforce Eames and R.W.G. Vail. Dictionary of Books Relating to America: From Its Discovery to the Present Time, Volumes I and II. 1868. Reprint ed. Mansfield Center, CT: Martino Publishing, 1998. 25916.

Sitwell, Sacheverell. Fine Bird Books, 1700-1900. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990. pp. 96-97.

Wood, Casey A. (ed.) An Introduction to the Literature of Vertebrate Zoology Based Chiefly on the Titles in the Blacker Library of Zoology, the Emma Shearer Wood Library of Ornithology, the Bibliotheca Osleriana, and Other Libraries of McGill University, Montreal. London: Humphry Milford, Oxford University Press, 1931. p. 349.

Additional information

Century

19th Century