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The Larvae of the British Butterflies and Moths. Vol. I-IX [with letters from Buckler and John Hellins]

by Buckler, W.; Stainton, H.T.; Porritt, G.T.

  • Hardback
  • Used Book Availability : SOLD
  • This title has been delisted and is no longer available to purchase - please use the search field above to check if another copy is in stock, or contact us to record your interest in this title, if another copy becomes available we will let you know
  • Catalogue No : 55726
  • Published : 1886-1901
  • Cover : Hardback
  • Publisher : Ray Society
  • Published In : London
  • Illustrations : 164 colour plates (105 hand-col, the remainder colour printed)


Scarce complete set. The definitive work on the larvae of British Lepidoptera. The work was published posthumously, with Vol. I-V edited by H.T. Stainton, and following his death, Vol. VI-IX by G.T. Porritt. 105 plates are hand-coloured (Vol. I-VI), the remainder chromolithographs (colour printed) (Vol. VII-IX).

Nissen ZBI, 657.


9 vols, 8vo, orig. blue cloth, gilt, teg, a little minor wear, as usual spines of several vols faded; light spotting to page edges, occasional foxing, particularly to first/last few leaves, several endpapers browned, a few chipped to outer edge. A very good set. Tipped in to this set are six interesting signed manuscript letters, three from William Buckler - two to James Fenn (1864), and one to Charles Fenn (1875); and three from Rev. John Hellins - two to Charles Fenn (1862), and one to Henry Tibbats Stainton (1861). In the letter to Stainton, Hellins asks Stainton if he could request eggs of certain species of moths from his near neighbours, Charles and James Fenn (Stainton appends his own note to this letter which he passed on the the Messrs. Fenn). The letters concern the exchange of eggs and larvae of moths, which Buckler needed to fill gaps in his illustrations of larvae of British moths. Rev. John Hellins (1829-1887) was chaplain of Exeter prison, as well as a fine field entomologist, and he collaborated and corresponded with Buckler for many years during the project to illustrate and describe the larvae of all the British butterflies and moths. Hellins would procure eggs and caterpillars, as Buckler's eyesight was too poor for fieldwork, then breed more which he would send on to Buckler to paint. Eventually Buckler's illustrations included some 5,000 figures showing the various states of growth for more than 850 species (Salmon, M.A. 2000. The Aurelian Legacy). Hellins also contributed descriptions of the caterpillars, and these constitute up to a third of this work, however, his name did not appear as a co-author (although Buckler had noted authorship of the descriptions in the text).

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