Natural History of the Insects of India, containing upwards of two hundred and twenty figures and descriptions.

Eur 7,000 / USD 7,700
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A new edition by J.O. Westwood. London, Henry G. Bohn, 1842. 4to (300 x 240mm). pp. vi, 102, with 58 fine handcoloured engraved plates. Contemporary green half morocco, spine with gilt lines and lettering (minor skilful repair).

The 'Insects of India' is the first illustrated publication dealing with the entomology of India

The most beautiful work on the insects of India. The first edition was published in 1800. The superb handcoloured plates capture the metallic brilliance and iridescence of the exotic insects. Most of the plates depict butterflies together with exotic plants. Edward Donovan (1768-1837) published various zoological and entomological works. He owned one of the most extensive natural history collections of his time, housed in his private museum, the well-known London Museum and Institute of Natural History.
" ... the paint is laid on so thickly that it is frequently impossible to see the engraved lines underneath. The already rich colouring is heightened by the addition of burnished highlights, albumen overglazes and metallic paints to give an overall effect reminiscent of the work of a miniaturist. Surprisingly, these techniques often combined to produce a very pleasing and delicate effect: the multiple ruses of the colourist triumph over the draughtsman's numerous failures. Donovan overreached himself and died penniless ..." (Dance, 'Art of Natural History' p. 87). The 'Insects of India' is the first illustrated publication dealing with the entomology of India.

Provenance: Name of Kikumaro Okano on free endpaper.

Nissen ZBI, 1143.