Twelve new Designs of English Butterflies: Creatures whose Elegance and Variety of Beauty demand our Admiration ...
London, B. Wilkes, 1742. Folio (410 x 310mm). 13 hand-coloured engraved plates including the dedication. Bound up with: WILKES, B. Directions for making a collection. (London n.d.). pp. 1. Later marbled boards.
First edition, first issue. Lisney in his 'Bibliography of British Lepidoptera' gives an extensive description of the first, second issue and the second Bowles's edition. "There was no true title to the plates now known as the 'Twelve New Designs', although there was certainly a 'title-page' of sorts. There were actually thirteen engraved plates, the first being a dedication 'To the Worthy Members of the Aurelian Society,' describing in its text 'Twelve New Designs of English Butterflies' to follow, hence the commonly accepted name (even though moths as well as butterflies are depicted). Twelve plates with geometrical designs of numerous British Lepidoptera follow the dedication leaf, which is in itself a 'design' as it includes a floral rondo surrounded by larvae and foodplants" (Wilkinson, R.S. in his essay on Wilkes, preceeding the Classey reprint of 'Twelve new Designs'). DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING A COLLECTION: Lisney 184. The second copy known, untill the present copy, the only copy known to have survived is the one in the British Museum (Natural History) (see Wilkinson p. 7). The heading of this folio broadsheet reads as follows: 'In order to oblige such Persons as may be desirous to make a Collection of Moths and Butterflies, though unacquainted with the Manner how, it is judged proper to lay down the following Directions.' The text is printed in two columns on one side of a single sheet. 'This folio broadsheet containing instructions to collectors was undoubtedly on sale at the same time as the 'Twelve new Designs of English Butterflies', but was at no time considered part of that work' (Lisney p. 123). '... the most momentous innovations mentioned in the 'Collecting Directions' is the use of the clap net, a design which would dominate British entomology for more than a hundred years' (Wilkinson p. 7). A fine copy with excellent colouring of the plates, except for some very slight discolouration of the paper due to faint dampstaining. Nissen ZBI, 4411
Item nr. 9347
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