Eposta in Cento Venti Discorsi in Prosa... Florence: Vincenzo Batelli e Compagni, 1843[-1846]. First edition, 2 volumes, folio (410 x 308mm.), half-title, 93 hand-coloured engraved plates showing 120 animals in landscapes by J. Giarre with text below, tissue guards, contemporary Italian quarter brown morocco, spine gilt, marbled sides, vellum corners, occasional light spotting, a few very small stains at extreme corner, 5 plates a little browned (2)
Estimate £5,000-7,000 + fees

Note: First and only edition, originally issued in 46 parts in 1843-1846. One of the rarest Italian zoological works, complete. 120 species are depicted, each with 'rather good descriptions by Baschieri' (Wood), followed by a poem by Gazzadi outlining the moral properties of the animal. Baaschieri was a doctor from Modena while Gazzadi was a poet and translator from Sassuolo. The animals are depicted in their natural habitats. Species range from the familiar to the exotic including the pangolin and the vampire bat, and now extinct creatures such as the quagga. Nissen ZBI 1492; Wood 352. Both bibliographies call erroneously for 119 plates, having confused the number of species listed in the index with the number of plates required. Worldcast records four copies, Copac records 1.

Sold for £5,750 (buyer's premium included)