HÜBNER, J.

Sammlung exotischer Schmetterlinge (Lepidoptera Exotica). New English fac-simile edition. Edited by P. Wystsman and with additional text by W.F. Kirby.

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Brussels, V. Verteneuil & L. Desmet, 1894-1897. 3 volumes. Large-4to (282 x 222mm). pp.(10), (8), (10),172, with 491hand-coloured lithographed plates. Contemporary brown half calf, spines with gilt lines and lettering, marbled sides (and:) HUEBNER, J. & GEYER, C. Zuträge zur Sammlung exotischer Schmetterlinge bestehend in Bekundigung einzelner Fliegmuster neuer oder rarer nichteuropäischer Gattungen. New English fascimile edition with 172 coloured plates with Introduction, and Systematic and Alphabetical Indices. Brussels, V. Verteneuil & L. Desmet, 1908-1912. Large-4to (282 x 222mm). pp. (4), 2, 100, (2), with 172 hand-coloured lithographed plates. Contemporary brown half calf, spines with gilt lines and lettering, marbled sides.

Rare complete and uniformly bound set, of the English issue, of this beautifully hand-coloured new edition of one of the finest and most important works on exotic butterflies, which was edited in a very limited edition. It comprises Hübner's complete works on exotic butterflies, the 'Sammlung exotischer Schmetterlinge' published from 1806-24 and his 'Zuträge zur Sammlung exotischer Schmetterlinge' published from 1818-37, of which the last part was published by Geyer. Both these two original works are extremely rare and we have not offered copies since many decades. The new edition of these works on exotic butterflies by Wystman and Kirby is superbly produced. The plates are printed on thick, wove paper and exquisitely handcoloured. Also this edition is a great rarity and the number of copies produced minute. Wystman published 3 issues, one with German text, one with English text and one with French text. Probably no more than 50 copies were published. Mr. Kirby says "In writing letter press to Hübner's 'Sammlung exotischer Schmetterlinge', I have paid special attention to the correct identification of the species figured, and in one or two cases I have found it necessary to propose new names. I have not given descriptions, but sufficient synonymy and explanations to bring Hübner's plates into range with later publication" (Entomological Society News 1911). Very little is known about Huebner's life. The rarity of his works is due to the great upheavel caused by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars and the long period of publication. Huebner was a man of modest means, more or less tied to his native town Augsburg. He was a designer in one of the leading cotton factories of the town. His true love and inclination were Lepidoptera. He published a number of beautifully illustrated iconographies on the subject which he published for his own account and he drew and engraved all the illustrations himself. "Nehmen wir als Beispiel die berühmten drei Schmetterlings-Iconographien des Augsburger Insecten-Malers und Muster-Zeichners in einer Kattun-Fabrik J. Hübner (1761-1826), welche als die schönsten Abbildungswerke der Entomologie gelten. Deren 1900 colorierte Tafeln sind als künstlerische Leistungen erst-rangig. (Und in der Reihe solcher Abbildungswerke, die sich die Bibliophilie und die Wissenschaft streitig machen, ist das Hübner'sche Opus eines der wenigen, bei dem der Fall eintritt, dass ihm die Wissenschaft einen höheren Preiss zubilligt, als die Bibliophilie; obzwar sonst infolge der weitaus grösseren Kaufwilligkeit und Kaufkraft, die nach der Kunst hin orientierten Sammlern innewohnt, die Preise solcher auf dem Ueberschneidungs-Gebiet wachsenden Werke eben von der Bibliophilie bestimmt werden)" (Junk. Rara p. 244). Small stamp on half-titles and titles. The work describes among others species from the East Indies, China, India and Australia. A very clean and nice set.

See Horn & Schenkling 10905 & 10908 for the original edition and Nissen ZBI, 2040 & 2041 for the original edition as well as the present issue. Also see F. Hemming. 'Hübner. A bibliographic and systematic account of the entomological works of Jacob Hübner...'.