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A Selection of Collectable Natural History Books

Offered here is a selection of rare, antiquarian and modern natural history books.

Highlights include:

- First edition/first issue of Darwin's 'The Descent of Man and Selection in relation to Sex'(1871), where the word "evolution" occurs, for the first time in any of Darwin's works.

- The Butterfly Vivarium (1858), a very attractive book with hand-coloured plates, including the frontispiece depicting the "little crystal palace" for butterflies and other insects

- The Book-Hunter at Home (1922) by P.B.M. Allen - 1 of 50 copies signed by the author.

- John Curtis' ‘British Entomology’(1823-1840), considered by the great French naturalist Georges Cuvier (1769–1832) a ‘paragon of perfection’, is one of the most beautifully illustrated works on British insects, with exquisitely drawn plates with the figures of the rarer and more beautiful species being coloured, and in many instances included the plants upon which the specimens were found.

- 1813 edition of Gilbert White's 'The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne', a book Colleridge described as sweet delightful.

- A handsome and rare complete run bound in 59 vols of the endlessly fascinating 'North Staffordshire Naturalists' Field Club Annual Report and Transactions/Journal'

- A fine copy in pristine dust-jacket of 'Wild & Garden Plants' (New Naturalist 80). Completely unfaded copies of this book are 'an absolute rarity if indeed exist at all'(Bernhard & Loe, 2015).

Used & Antiquarian

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The Butterfly Vivarium; or Insect Home: being an account of a new method of observing the curious metamorphoses of some of the most beautiful of our native insects

by Humphreys, H.N.

Cat No. : 32567, Published : 1858, Illustrations : 8 hand-coloured engraved plates

Hardback £195.00

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This work, published during the peak of Victorian interest in natural history, instructed the reader how to build, stock and maintain an insect vivarium. The coloured frontispiece illustrates a. . .(more)


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The Insect Hunters, and other Poems

by Newman, E.

Cat No. : 33476, Published : [1861]

Hardback £65.00

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2nd edition. Scarce.. . .(more)


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The Book-Hunter at Home

by Allan, P.B.M.

Cat No. : 31346, Published : 1922, Illustrations : b/w frontis, 3 plates

Hardback £150.00

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2nd edition. Limited to 500 copies of which 50 were printed 'on fine paper'.. . .(more)


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British Entomology; being illustrations and descriptions of the genera of insects found in Great Britain and Ireland : containing figures from nature of the most rare and beautiful species, and in many instances of the plants upon which they are found

by Curtis, John

Cat No. : 33526, Published : 1823-1840, Illustrations : 770 hand-coloured plates (1-769, 205*)

Hardback £6,950.00

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Rare. Systematically arranged set in 8 volumes: Vols I-II Coleoptera, Vol. III Dermaptera, Dictyoptera, Orthoptera, Strepsiptera, Hymenoptera Pt. I, Vol. IV Hymenoptera Pt. II, Neuroptera,. . .(more)


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Forty Drawings of Fishes made by the Artists who accompanied Captain James Cook on his Three Voyages to the Pacific 1768-71, 1772-75, 1776-80

by Whitehead, P.J.P.

Cat No. : 29583, Published : 1968, Illustrations : 36 col + b/w plates

Hardback £125.00

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Publication No. 670. Published to mark the bicentenary of Captain Cook's first voyage to the Pacific. 36 plates (24 colour), each with facing page of explanatory text.. . .(more)


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Chinese Natural History Drawings: selected from the Reeves Collection in the British Museum (Natural History)

by Whitehead, P.J.P.; Edwards, P.I.

Cat No. : 29703, Published : 1974, Illustrations : 20 col plates

Hardback £300.00

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Published in a limited edition of 400 copies. The Reeves collection of early nineteenth-century water-colours is one of the largest sets of natural history drawings in the British Museum (Natural. . .(more)


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Madam Dragonfly: The Life and Times of Cynthia Longfield

by Hayter-Hames, J.

Cat No. : 33245, Published : 1991, Illustrations : frontis, b/w plates

Hardback £50.00

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Biography of Cynthia Longfield, author of "Dragonflies of the British Isles" (1937).. . .(more)


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Leningrad Watercolours

by Merian, Maria Sibylla

Cat No. : 30049, Published : 1974, Illustrations : 50 col plates, 17 col folding plates

Hardback £495.00

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Multi-lingual text (German/English/French/Russian/Latin). Limited edition of 1,750 numbered copies.

Maria Sibylla Merian, also known as Anna Maria Sibylla (1647 - 1717) was German-born naturalist,. . .(more)


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Nereis Boreali-Americana: or, Contributions towards a History of the Marine Algae of the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts of North America

by Harvey, W.H.

Cat No. : 9593, Published : 1851-1858, Illustrations : 50 hand-col plates

Hardback £600.00

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Rare. Complete in three parts: Pt. 1: Melanospermeae; Pt. 2: Rhodospermeae; Pt. 3: Chlorospermeae

. . .(more)


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The Entomologist's Useful Compendium; or An Introduction to the Knowledge of British Insects

by Samouelle, George

Cat No. : 33794, Published : 1819, Illustrations : 12 hand-col plates

Hardback £240.00

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Comprising the best Means of obtaining and preserving them, and a Description of the Apparatus generally used; together with the Genera of Linné, and the Modern Method of arranaging the Classes,. . .(more)


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The Birds of Tunisia: Being a History of the Birds found in the Regency of Tunis

by Whitaker, J.I.S.

Cat No. : 2882, Published : 1905, Illustrations : 2 photogravure frontispieces, 15 hand col litho. plates by Gronvold, 2 photographic plates, 2 folding maps

Hardback £1,250.00

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Edition limited to 250 numbered copies. Joseph Isaac Spadafora Whitaker (1850 – 1936) was a wealthy Sicilian-English ornithologist, archaeologist and sportsman. Although he had a number of interests,. . .(more)


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Coloured Illustrations of the Eggs of British Birds

by Hewitson, W.C.

Cat No. : 22419, Published : 1846, Illustrations : 137 fine hand-col plates

Hardback £500.00

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2nd edition. Plates are numbered I-CXXXI, XII*, XXV*, LXXVIII*, CI*, CXX*. An additional plate is called for by Nissen (XXXVII*), but is not present in this copy

[Nissen IVB 442]

. . .(more)


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The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, in the County of Southampton. To which are added, The Naturalist's Calendar; Observations on Various Parts of Nature; and Poems

by White, Gilbert

Cat No. : 25869, Published : 1813, Illustrations : folding frontis, 8 plates (1 hand-col), 3 vignettes

Hardback £400.00

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New (3rd) edition. Mitford's 4to edition. Includes 12 fine engravings, including the folding frontis-piece, 8 full page plates (one hand-coloured) and 3 vignettes in the text. Gilbert White (1720 –. . .(more)


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Rambles in Search of Shells, Land and Freshwater

by Harting, J.E.

Cat No. : 33855, Published : 1875, Illustrations : 10 hand-col plates

£125.00

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Lithographic plates drawn and coloured by Arthur Rich.

[Freeman, 1568]. . .(more)


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The Edible Mollusks of Great Britain and Ireland with Recipes for Cooking Them

by Lovell, M.S.

Cat No. : 33877, Published : 1867, Illustrations : 12 hand-col plates

Hardback £120.00

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1st edition. Rare. Includes fine hand-coloured lithographs by G.B. Sowerby.

[Freeman, 2320]. . .(more)


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Les Maladies des Plantes cultivées à Madagascar

by Bouriquet, G.

Cat No. : 32238, Published : 1946, Illustrations : 1 portrait, 7 col plates, 230 text figs, 41 b/w plates

£400.00

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Gilbert Bouriquet (1903-1975) was a French agronomist, who in 1929 established the Laboratory of Plant Pathology in Tananarive (Antananarivo), Madagascar. He was awarded Chevalier de la Légion. . .(more)


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The American Lobster: A Study of its Habitats and Development

by Herrick, F.H.

Cat No. : 30263, Published : 1895, Illustrations : 65 plates (8 col, 1 folding), 1 folding table

Paperback £120.00

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Article 1 - Bull. U.S. Fish Commission, 1895. Plates numbered A-J, 1-44, 45a-b, 46-54. Ten plates are from photographs, the rest are drawn from nature by the author; eight of the plates are fine. . .(more)


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Entomologie Analytique. Histoire Générale Classification Naturelle et Méthodique des Insectes. Tome I-II

by Dumeril, A.M.C.

Cat No. : 31983, Published : 1860, Illustrations : 1 folding table, numerous text figs

Hardback £360.00

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Text French. The French zoologist André Marie Constant Duméril (1774-1860) was professor of anatomy at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris and later became professor of herpetology and. . .(more)


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Butterfly-Hunting in Many Lands: Notes of a Field Naturalist

by Longstaff, G.B.

Cat No. : 29820, Published : 1912, Illustrations : col frontis, 6 chromolitho plates, 9 plain plates

Hardback £150.00

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1st edition. Includes translations of papers by Fritz Müller on the scent-organs of butterflies and moths, with a note by E.B. Poulton. Includes notes on the land mollusca by Mrs. G.B. Longstaff.. . .(more)


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Le Farfalle Diurne d'Italia. Vol. 1-5

by Verity, R.

Cat No. : 33551, Published : 1940-1953, Illustrations : 75 col + 27 b/w plates

Hardback £2,250.00

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Text Italian. Scarce and important work on Italian butterflies. Numbered edition of 1000 copies (vols 1-3) or 800 (vols 4-5). Vols 3-5 were each issued as two parts (Text + Plates). Vol. 1:. . .(more)


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The Butterflies of Southern Africa. Parts 1-4

by Van Son, G.

Cat No. : 33634, Published : 1949-1979, Illustrations : 142 col + 41 b/w plates, 748 line drawings

Hardback £325.00

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Scarce complete set. Part 1: Papilionidae & Pieridae; Part 2: Nymphalidae: Danainae & Satyrinae; Part 3: Nymphalidae: Acraeinae; Part 4: Nymphalidae: Nymphalinae. Transvaal Museum Memoirs No's: 3,. . .(more)


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A Natural History of the British Lepidoptera. Vol. I-V, VIII-XI

by Tutt, J.W.

Cat No. : 33475, Published : 1899-1914, Illustrations : b/w plates, text figs

Hardback £360.00

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Complete published set of volumes on Britsh Lepidoptera: vols 1-5 on moths + vols 8-11 on butterflies; volumes 6+7 were not published. Volume 11 here is titled 'British Butterflies. Vol. IV'.. . .(more)


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Butterflies from China, Japan and Corea. Pt 1: Danainae, Satyrinae, Morphinae, and Acraeinae

by Leech, J.H.

Cat No. : 18555, Published : 1892, Illustrations : 13 fine chromolithographed plates

Paperback £650.00

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Rare. Part 1 only. Fine chromolithographs drawn by W. Purkiss and printed by W. Greve, Berlin.

Nissen ZBI 2414

. . .(more)


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The Genera of British Lepidoptera transferred from the original figures, in 193 plates of "British Entomology"

by Curtis, John

Cat No. : 31685, Published : 1858, Illustrations : 35 hand-coloured plates (196 figures)

Hardback £450.00

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Very scarce, especially with hand-colouring of the lithographic plates. The images are based on illustrations which first appeared in Curtis’ ‘British Entomology; being illustrations and descriptions. . .(more)


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Rhopalocera Aethiopica. Die Tagfalter des aethiopischen Faunengebietes: Eine systematisch-geographische Studie

by Aurivillius, C.

Cat No. : 26952, Published : 1898 [1899], Illustrations : 6 chromolithographed plates

Hardback £500.00

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Published in 'Kongl. Svenska Vetenskaps-Akademiens Handlingar', vol. 31, part 5. Publication date is given as 1898 on title-page, but publication was not before the end of April 1899 (see Cowan:. . .(more)


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Butterflies and Moths (British)

by Furneaux, W.

Cat No. : 33310, Published : 1897, Illustrations : 12 col plates, 241 text ills

Hardback £50.00

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New edition.. . .(more)


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A Field Guide to the Butterflies and Burnets of Spain

by Manley, W.B.L.; Allcard, H.G.

Cat No. : 33387, Published : 1970, Illustrations : frontis, 40 col plates

Hardback £275.00

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Farm Insects: Being the Natural History and Economy of the Insects Injurious to the Field Crops of Great Britain and Ireland, and also those which Infest Barns and Granaries. With Suggestions for their Destruction

by Curtis, John

Cat No. : 31811, Published : 1883, Illustrations : 16 fine hand-col engraved plates, 69 wood engravings in text

Hardback £175.00

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Later reissue (first published 1860). The fine plates illustrate insect pests and the damage they cause to crops.

John Curtis (1791–1862) was a British entomologist, illustrator, writer, and. . .(more)


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A History of British Butterflies

by Morris, F.O.

Cat No. : 12533, Published : 1890, Illustrations : 2 plain + 72 hand-col plates

Hardback £210.00

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6th edition. . .(more)


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The Genera of British Moths: Popularly Described and Arranged According to the System Now Adopted By the British Musuem. Illustrated By a Series of Picturesque Plates Exhibiting the Insects in Their Different Ages With the Caterpillars and the Plants

by Humphreys, H.N.

Cat No. : 21629, Published : [1860], Illustrations : 62 fine hand -

Hardback £350.00

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Two vols bound in one. Backgrounds partly hand coloured. Colouring is better than in many of the later issues by T.J. Almann.

Henry Noel Humphreys (1810–1879), was an artist, naturalist,. . .(more)


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British Bats (New Naturalist 93)

by Altringham, J.D.

Cat No. : 29225, Published : 2003, Illustrations : 250 b/w illus, 32 col photos

Hardback £145.00

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1st edition. . .(more)


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Wild and Garden Plants (New Naturalist 80)

by Walters, M.

Cat No. : 31546, Published : 1993, Illustrations : 38 col photos, 49 figs

Hardback £550.00

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1st edition. Scarce. Bernhard & Loe, NN80A. . .(more)


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The Descent of Man and Selection in relation to Sex

by Darwin, Charles

Cat No. : 28376, Published : 1871, Illustrations : 78 woodcuts in text

Hardback £3,500.00

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1st edition, 1st issue. 'The word "evolution" occurs, for the first time in any of Darwin's works, on page 2 of the first volume of the first edition …. before its appearance in the sixth edition of. . .(more)


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Darwinism: An Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection with some of its Applications

by Wallace, A.R.

Cat No. : 32506, Published : 1889, Illustrations : portrait frontis, folding col map, 37 text figs

Hardback £150.00

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2nd edition, being a reprint of the 1st edition (in October of the same year) with a few corrections and alterations. 2-page publishers ads at end.. . .(more)


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Observations on the Diseases of the Army

by Pringle, John

Cat No. : 33662, Published : 1764, Illustrations : engraved title vignette

Hardback £250.00

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4th edition enlarged. John Pringle (1707-1782), founder of the modern military medicine, was Physician-General of the British Army from 1744 to 1752. His books lay down the principles of military. . .(more)


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The Coleoptera of the British Islands: A Descriptive Account of the Families, Genera, and Species Indigenous to Great Britain and Ireland, with Notes as to Localities, Habitats, etc.

by Fowler, W.W.; Donisthorpe, H.

Cat No. : 23556, Published : 1887-1913, Illustrations : 200 hand col + 5 plain plates

Hardback £2,350.00

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The rare illustrated, large paper edition. Vol. 6 (Supplement) written in collaboration with H. Donisthorpe. Nissen ZBI 1415.

William Weekes Fowler (1849-1923) was a British clergyman, naturalist,. . .(more)


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British Spiders: An Introduction to the Study of the Araneidae of Great Britain and Ireland

by Staveley, E.F.

Cat No. : 14882, Published : n.d., Illustrations : 16 plates (14 hand-col.)

Hardback £40.00

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First published 1866. This is an early undated reissue.. . .(more)


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The Comity of Spiders

by Bristowe, W.S.

Cat No. : 17304, Published : 1939-1941, Illustrations : 22 plates, 96 text figs

Hardback £200.00

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Only 550 copies of volume 1 and 538 copies of volume 2 were printed.. . .(more)


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Catalogue of Orthopterous Insects in the Collection of the British Museum. Part I. Phasmidae

by Westwood, J.O.

Cat No. : 20887, Published : 1859, Illustrations : 48 plain plates

Hardback £650.00

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Rare and important work on Phasmatodea (Stick Insects). Includes many new species descriptions. Plates I-XL are lithographs, supplementary plates I-VIII are engravings.

[Horn Schenkling 24010;. . .(more)


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North Staffordshire Naturalists' Field Club Annual Report and Transactions Vol. 1-93 / North Staffordshire Journal of Field Studies Vol. 1-12 / North Staffordshire Field Club Transactions (New Series) Vol. 1-28

by North Staffordshire Naturalists' Field Club

Cat No. : 33670, Published : 1866-2003, Illustrations : numerous plates (col + plain, lithographs + photographic, some folding), text figs

£1,200.00

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The North Staffordshire Naturalists' Field Club was founded in 1865. Its mission was stated as 'the practical study of Natural History in all its branches, and the cultivation of a fuller knowledge. . .(more)


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