New York (1870): George R. Lockwood. Octavo. Item #025042
The last and best of the preferred editions issued in original publisher's full brown morocco, decorated in blind, raised bands, with title gilt, containing 500 superb tinted and hand-colored plates. Not only were the artists-illustrators able to use the original 435 plates from the double-elephant folio reducing the plates by camera lucida but they were also able to make certain only one species was depicted per plate, thus they were made available an additional 65 plates. The original plates were destroyed in a Philadelphia warehouse fire in the early 1870's. This rare edition collates the same as the reported copies at the University of California, Berkeley and Cornell with each bearing the 1870 date and containing the index at the end of Volume VIII (which is lacking in the other editions). Other libraries report variant editions lacking the index and the 1870 date. It is for this reason that later editions are reprinted without the index and the scarcity of this the last great and most preferred edition. Each plate perfect lacking any of the browning or spotting as was present even in the Pirie copy [which also had a severe tear on plate 259]. Even the Sigety copy had faint offsetting. This copy has been preserved with the original tissue guards and maintained in obvious ideal condition since its issue in 1870. Though they do not provide complete descriptive bibliographic notes, Sabin 2364 and Nissen 52 (as well as Reese's exhibit at the Grolier [Reese 34], our description here provides the most exact collation. Superb condition with the half-title present in all volumes. All plates are present with four plates in volume III present but bound out of sequence. [see below] Detailed collation is as follows: Beige backgrounds Volume I. Half-title, viii; xv, 12-246pp. Plates 1-70; Volume II. Half-title, vii, 12-199pp., Plates 71-140; Volume III. Half-title, viii, 10-233, Plates 141-210; sequence of plates 55 and 56 misbound and plates 87 and 88 misbound though all plates present.; Volume IV. Half-title, viii, 10-321pp. Plates 211-280. ; Volume V. Half-title, viii, 10-346pp., 281-350. Volume VI. Half-title, vii, 10-298pp., Plates 351-394; Volume VII. Half-title, vii, 10-285pp., Plates 395-440 Volume VIII. Half-title, viii, 10-266pp., with index to all eight volumes. Plates 441-500.