Taylor & Francis for R.H. Porter. 1894-1900 London, 4 volumes, 1st editions, 220pp, 194pp, 245pp & 242pp, 100 hand-colored lithographs after J. Wolf and J. Smit, 121 wood engraved text illus. 9 by 11.25 inches. A beautiful set bound in full matching 3/4 leather with green leather and dark red cloth boards. Five raised bands with elaborate gilt stamping on the spines. Remarkably free of acidification, some page tears (professionally repaired), and a very marginal insect damage in a few places. Item #002501
Letterpress titles with wood-engraved vignettes, with 100 hand-colored lithographed plates after the works of after Joseph Wolf (51), J. Smit (32), Waterhouse Hawkins (2), J.G. Keulemans and H. Leutemann (1 each) and 13 lithographs by unknown artists. In addition there are 121 wood-engraved text illustrations, wood-engraved vignettes on title pages. --- The most magnificent set of books on the antelope of the world, mainly African. Thomas Sclater was the Secretary of the London Zoological Society and was well-known for his knowledge of the larger species of hoofed mammals. This fabulous four-volume set contains the most detailed study, both in color illustrations as well as narrative, of the antelope of the world up to that date. The 100 hand-colored plates alone are worth the price of the set. We did some research on this title and discovered an virtually unknown fact that we have not seen ever referred to before and indicates how truly hard to find this set is; the original 1895 brochure advertising this set mentions that only 400 copies were printed. The history of this work is quite interesting: the majority of the plates were prepared prior to 1878 for Sir Victor Brooke (1843-1891) by J. Smit and Joseph Wolf for the former proposed work on antelopes. This work was never published, and, after Brooke's death in 1891, Brooke's son gave Sclater his father's manuscript notes and the plates. The notes were discarded as unusable, but the plates were employed, with new text by Sclater and Oldfield Thomas.