Folio, pp. xix, [1 (blank)], 326, , with folding map and 28 copper-engraved plates; very slight spotting and offsetting from plates, a little foxing to final leaf, tears to folds of map repaired with adhesive tape; an attractive copy in early twentieth-century red morocco by Rivière & Son (turn-in signed in gilt), borders filleted in gilt, spine gilt-ruled in compartments and lettered directly in gilt, edges gilt, blue endpapers; a few slight marks, slight splits to joints; erased (with minor marginal loss) ownership inscription to title, dated 13 September 1891, twentieth-century bookplate of Robert Hawkings to upper pastedown, bookseller’s label of Andrew C. Glover, Truro.
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The natural History of Cornwall: The Air, Climate, Waters, Rivers, Lakes, Sea, and Tides; Of the Stones, Semimetals, Metals, Tin, and the Manner of Mining; The Constitution of the Stannaries; Iron, Copper, Silver, Lead, and Gold, found in Cornwall; Vegetables, rare Birds, Fishes, Shells, Reptiles, and Quadrupeds; Of the Inhabitants, their Manners, Customs, Plays or Interludes, Exercises, and Festivals, the Cornish Languages, Trade, Tenures, and Arts; illustrated with a new Sheet Map of the County, and twenty-eight Folio Copper-Plates from the original Drawings taken on the Spot.
First edition of Borlase’s monumental survey of Cornwall. Though aged over sixty at the time of publication, William Borlase (1696 – 1772), rector of Ludgvan, toured central and eastern Cornwall between 1752 and 1757, gathering material for his Natural History. The result, though less ambitious than intended, provides a detailed account of the county, its flora, fauna, geology, and culture, elegantly illustrated with large copper plates.
Following the publication of the text, which had drawn heavily from the author’s collection of Cornish fossils and minerals, Borlase donated his specimens to the Ashmolean Museum, where they remain.
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