The Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society delineated … Vol. I: Quadrupeds [– Vol. II: Birds].

Chiswick, Charles Wittingham, for London, Charles Tilt, 1831.

2 vols, 8vo, pp. I: xii, 308, II: viii, 328; titles with woodcut vignettes, numerous woodcut illustrations throughout; a little spotted, otherwise a good set; moden cloth-backed boards with drab paper sides, printed paper labels to spines; corners lightly bumped; ink ownership inscription of William V. Donaldson to front free endpapers, with his bequest plate to the Philadelphia Zoological Garden, subsequent ownership and deaccession stamps of the Zoological Society of Philadelphia to endpapers.


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The Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society delineated … Vol. I: Quadrupeds [– Vol. II: Birds].

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First edition, second issue, of the first record of the menagerie of the Zoological Society. Founded in 1826 with botanical gardens and a zoological collection at Regent’s Park, the Zoological Society of London was soon established as the foremost natural history collection in Europe, receiving the Royal Menagerie from William IV in 1831.

The descriptions were contributed by (among others) Vigors, Wallich, Broderip, and Yarrell, and edited by Edward Turner Bennett (1797 – 1836), vice-secretary of the Society under Nicholas Aylward Vigors and his successor as secretary. Though credited to William Harvey (1796 – 1866), the illustrations contain drawings by several other artists, including the young Edward Lear. The descriptions and images together offered the first view of the Society’s gardens, which would not be opened to the public until 1847.

Printed at Chiswick by Charles Wittingham, the first volume was initially sold by Tegg and Hailes and dated 1830 and the second by Sharpe with the date 1831; the two volumes were first issued together, as here, by Charles Tilt in 1831.

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