Temple of Flora, or, Garden of the Botanist, Poet, Painter, and Philosopher.
Robert John Thornton. [London: Thornton, 1812].
Temple of Flora is one of the most celebrated botanical books of the eighteenth century, known for its unusual depictions of flowers set against monumental and classical backgrounds.
This is the first quarto edition, reduced from the magnificent folio edition of 1807. It has been dubbed the “lottery” edition because its plates may have been used as prizes in the “Botanical Lottery” that Thornton was forced to organize to stave off bankruptcy caused by production of the folio edition.
Plantae selectae quarum imagines… pinxit Georgius Dionysius Ehret.
Christoph Jacob Trew. Nuremberg, 1750-1773. 10 parts in 1 volume.
This monument of eighteenth-century botanical book illustration contains 100 finely engraved plates by Johann Jacob Haid after paintings by the great botanical artist, Georg Dionysius Ehret. This image of the Dodecatheon meadia flower (or “shooting star”) illustrates the exquisite detail and sumptuous hand-coloring typical of the engravings throughout the book.
Also notable are the ten engraved title-pages (one for each of the ten parts) heightened by hand in red and gold.
Journal of Researches into the Geology and Natural History of the Various Countries Visited by the H.M.S. Beagle under the Command of Captain Fitzroy.
Charles Darwin. London: Henry Colburn, 1839. Bound in original green publishers’ cloth.
An early report of Darwin’s scientific fieldwork aboard the HMS Beagle from 1832 to 1835. Although it predates On the Origin of Species (1859) by twenty years, Darwin’s Journal of Researches contains hints of the views that would later develop into his theory of evolution.
This is the first separate edition of the text. It was originally issued as the third volume in The Narrative of the Voyages of H.M. Ships Adventure and Beagle, 4 vols. (1839).
Journal of John James Audubon, Made While Obtaining Subscriptions to His ‘Birds of America,’ 1840-1843, ed. Howard Corning.
John James Audubon. 4 vols. Boston: Club of Odd Volumes, 1929. Edition of 225.
Printed edition of the manuscript diary kept by Audubon in the years immediately following the completion of Birds of America. The diary discusses, among other things, the planning and production of the highly successful first octavo edition of Birds, published from 1840 to 1844.
The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex.
Charles Darwin. 2 vols. London: John Murray 1871. Bound in original green publishers’ cloth.
First edition, second issue, with the list of nine additional works by Darwin on the verso of the title-page in place of the errata.
In The Descent of Man, Darwin applied his theories of evolution and sexual selection to the human species for the first time. Earlier works, such as On the Origin of Species (1859) focused exclusively on the plant and animal world. Darwin’s first published use of the word ‘evolution’ appears in this work.
Galápagos. World's End.
William Beebe. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Knickerbocker Press), 1924. Edition of 100.
William Beebe’s account of his scientific expedition to the Galápagos Islands in 1923, sponsored by the New York Zoological Society. Beebe’s team studied and collected indigenous species of plants and animals, including specimens of 60 species previously unknown to science.
This is one of 100 copies from the limited edition signed by the author. The work is richly illustrated with over 100 illustrations.