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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

  • Hardback £6,000.00
  • Used Book Availability : In stock
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  • Catalogue No : 38147
  • Published : 1823-1840
  • Cover : Hardback


Rare. All parts/plates are first issues, bound systematically in 8 volumes: Vols I-II Coleoptera, Vol. III Dermaptera, Dictyoptera, Orthoptera, Strepsiptera, Hymenoptera Pt. I, Vol. IV Hymenoptera Pt. II, Neuroptera, Trichoptera, Vols V-VI Lepidoptera, Vol. VII Homoptera, Hemiptera, Aphaniptera, Vol. VIII Diptera, Omaloptera. Plates are numbered 1-769, 205*. The fine hand coloured engravings each include an insect along with a plant with which it is usually associated. After 5 years of publication, Curtis apparantly found his edition too small to supply the demand. He therefore began to reprint the previous parts, eventually covering parts 1-30 (parts 1-8 rewritten and enlarged, parts 9-30 reset and reprinted without alteration). Most sets of this work contain the reprints mixed in with the original (Sherborn & Durrant, 1911, EMM, 47: 84-85). In this copy all the parts/plates are first issues.

Nissen ZBI, 1000, Horn-Schenkling, 4184.

John Curtis (1791-1862) was a British entomologist, illustrator and engraver, writer, and ‘commissioned entomological agent for wealthy patrons’ (Clark, 204). The present work, ‘British Entomology’, 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, acknowledged as being a masterpiece of the engravers' and colourists' art.


8 vols, 8vo, cont. half morocco, rubbed/worn, a few joints beginning to split, rear joint to Vol. 1 tender; marbled endpapers; teg. Occasional faint offsetting and a few light spots; a small number of plates a little toned. Hand-coloured plates clean and vibrantly coloured. A very good set. Book plates of Baron [J.A.] Bouck.

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