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BROWN, Peter.

Nouvelles Illustrations de Zoologie … New Illustrations of Zoology,

Containing Fifty Coloured Plates Of New, Curious, And Non-Descript Birds, With A Few Quadrupeds, Reptiles And Insects. Together with a short and scientific description of the same.

Published: London: B. White, 1776

Stock code: 111330

Price: £5,000

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This item is on show at 43 Dover Street (map)

First edition. This is a very well coloured copy of a book which often suffers from indifferent colouring. Peter Brown (fl. 1758–1799), thought to be Danish, was court painter to the Prince of Wales. It is not certain if he studied as a pupil of Georg Ehret (1708–1770), the famous botanical artist from Germany, but he was most certainly influenced by his work. The work is principally based on specimens in the natural history collections of Marmaduke Tunstall and Thomas Pennant, but also includes plates after drawings by the Ceylonese artist P. C. de Bevere in Java and Ceylon. Forty-two of the plates depict birds, five mammals, two insects and one an amphibian. Much of the text was supplied by Pennant, who had previously employed Brown for two of the plates in his British Zoology, whilst the work was published by Gilbert White’s brother, Benjamin. Brown was also known as a flower painter, exhibiting at the Royal Academy from 1770 to 1791.

Quarto (285 x 230 mm). Recently rebound to style in speckled half calf, red morocco label, raised bands, marbled boards and edges. With 50 hand-coloured engraved plates. Parallel text in English and French. Occasional minor foxing but overall contents very clean. An excellent copy.

Bibliography: Nissen IVB, 151; Wood p. 264; Zimmer pp. 101-102.

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