Voyages d'un Naturaliste, et ses observations. Faites sur les trois règnes de la Nature, dans plusieurs ports de mer français, en Espagne, au continent de l'Amerique septentrionale, à Saint-Yago de Cuba, et à St.-Domingue, où l'Auteur devenu le prisonnier de 40,000 Noirs révoltés, et par suite mis en liberté par une colonne de l'armée française, donne des détails circonstanciés sur l'expédition du général Leclerc. Dédiés à ... le Comte de Lacépède.
Paris, Dufart, 1809. 3 volumes. 8vo (220 x 135mm). pp. lxiv, 17-365; (4), 470; x, 11-476, with 43 stipple engraved plates (including frontispieces and 2 engraved plates of music) and 11 folding (some printed on both sides) tables. Contemporary green half morocco, richly gilt decorated spines, marbled sides.
A rare complete copy of a book which is often found with less plates. Wood quotes a copy with 17, Sabin with 20 and Leclerc with 22 plates. Stafleu 1390 listing a copy with 34 plates informs as follows: 'Number of plates (of the third volume) varies'. Michel Étienne Descourtilz (1775-1836) was a French physician, naturalist and traveller. "Following his marriage to the daughter of Rossignol-Desdunes, who had plantations in Artibonite, he went to Saint-Domingue (Haiti) in 1798, on the way visiting Charleston, South Carolina, and Santiago de Cuba. Descourtilz became involved in the Negro revolution and, in spite of the protection of Toussaint L'Ouverture was nearly executed by Dessalines... but in 1803 escaped and sailed to Cádiz... Most of his original drawings and manuscripts, as well as his herbarium, were burned in Haiti; and in writing his books he had to rely on the works of Plumier, Joseph Surian, Alexandre Poiteau, and Turpin. His zoological contributions, particularly those on the caiman, were highly praised" (DSB). Descourtilz is better known for his 'Flore Pittoresque et Médicale des Antilles'. Many plates show zoological matter such as shells, fishes, an octopus, crocodiles, insects as well as plants, exotic fruit and sceneries. An uncut copy, signed by Descourtilz on verso of first title. Stafleu & Cowan 1390.
Item nr. 8729
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