Histoire Naturelle des Insectes. Genera des Coléoptères ou exposé méthodique et critique de tous les genres proposés jusqu'ci dans cet ordre d'insectes.
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Paris, Roret, 1854-1876. 8vo (203 x 130mm). 14 volumes (12 text volumes bound in 13 plus atlas). pp. xx, 486; 548; 594; 579; 750; 637; 620; 552; 1-409; 410-930; iv, 455; 420; 424; 47, (3), with 134 hand-coloured engraved plates. Contemporary half calf, gilt ornamented spines with gilt lettering (vol. 9, second part in contemporary wrappers, atlas volume in later half calf).
The rare issue with hand-coloured plates
The rare issue with hand-coloured plates. The present work is Jean Théodore Lacordaire's (1801-1870) major work. 'De ses voyages, Lacordaire rapporte en France, des milliers d'insectes qu'il étudie lui-même' (Lhoste p. 60). Lacordaire travelled in South American from 1825-1832 using every opportunity to collect insects.
In 1835 he became professor of zoology at the University of Liège. The last 3 volumes of the present work were posthumously published by F. Chapuis. The fine plates engraved by Corbié are after drawings by Migneaux, Nicolet, and Hüet. All plates are meticulously hand-coloured.
"Besides his great work, the 'Genera des Coléoptères,' which occupied the last twenty-two years of his life, and with which his name will be associated as long as Entomology is studied, he published a Monograph of the Erotylidæ... The unanimous verdict of entomologists has already stamped the 'Genera des Coléoptères' as a work of transcendent merit and usefulness; and when we consider that almost every line of its nine closely-printed volumes embodies the result of numerous observations, careful comparisons... I have thought it well to obtain some estimate of these from my friend and predecessor Mr. Bates, who has, I know, had occasion to examine critically a large portion of Lacordaire's work. He informs me that the distinguishing merits of the 'Genera' are, its completeness (scarcely a single described genus having been overlooked); the justness and accuracy of the characters given, and the clearness of its style and arrangement. In the aptitude and neatness with which the synoptical tables of tribes and genera are constructed, Mr. Bates thinks he has excelled all other entomological writers..." (A.R. Wallace. The president's Address 1871 to the Entomological Society of London).
Horn-Schenkling 12618 & Index Litt. Ent. II, 565.