Skip to content

The British Miscellany

The British Miscellany

Click for full-size.

The British Miscellany

by James Sowerby

  • Used
  • Very Good
  • Hardcover
Very Good/None
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Item Price
Or just NZ$4,095.47 with a
Bibliophiles Club Membership
FREE Shipping to USA Standard delivery: 10 to 21 days
More Shipping Options

Payment Methods Accepted

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • PayPal

About This Item

Very good copy of Sowerby's answer to George Shaw's The Naturalist's Miscellany

Complete with all 76 plates (two folding) finely handcoloured engravings by this prolific artist

Includes "new, rare, or little known animal subjects many not before ascertained to be inhabitants of the British Isles and chiefly in the possession of the author." There are strange parasites that prey on sand bees or sprats, sea urchin, Norway king crab, Sowerby's beaked whale, sea worms and sea fans, a rare narwhal with two tusks, starfish, cuttlefish, beetles, flies, corals and sponges, a water shrew, ducks, brown trout, bee-eaters and grebes.

This is the re-issue from Bernard Quaritch with new title page and corrected and completed index "after the purchase of the [original] stock in May 1875"

New title page, corrected index, original title page, dedication to Francis Lord Seaforth and James Brodie Esq. (who supplied specimens to the author), preface, corrected index (duplicate), 60 handcoloured plates and 1-132 text pages (Vol. I), 16 handcoloured plates and 1-32 text pages (Vol. II), original index 133-136 pages (to Vol. I)

Originally issued in 12 parts, the first five with four plates, the remainder with eight plates each. According to Anker, the stock was later bought by Quaritch and reissued in 1875 with a new title page (this copy)

James Sowerby (1757-1822) was a tireless English naturalist, illustrator, conchologist, mineralogist and mycologist. He began as a botanical illustrator for William Curtis (on Flora Londinensis and the Botanical Magazine), before contributing over 2,500 botanical plates to Sir James Edward Smith's series English Botany 1790-1814. He also illustrated William Woodville's Medical Botany 1790-93, and his own works English Fungi 1789-91, British Miscellany 1804-1806, British Mineralogy 1802-17, Exotic Mineralogy 1811, among others.

Later Victorian half-leather binding in blue morocco, spine with five raised gilt bands, red leather label with gilt title, leather cracked and worn, light blue cloth boards rubbed, book block solid, all edges uncut. Slight overall age toning to all pages, but plates fresh and clean with superb handcolour. Faint offsetting to a few plates.

A very good copy of this curious zoological rarity.


(Log in or Create an Account first!)

You’re rating the book as a work, not the seller or the specific copy you purchased!


Florilegius JP (JP)
Bookseller's Inventory #
The British Miscellany
James Sowerby
James Sowerby
Half leather and cloth boards
Book Condition
Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Quantity Available
R. Taylor & Co. for the Author
Place of Publication
Date Published
Octavo, 25 x 16cm
0.00 lbs
James Sowerby, British Miscellany, zoology, natural history, engraving, copperplate, bird, animal, marine, insect, curiosity
Bookseller catalogs
Natural History;

Terms of Sale


30 day return guarantee, with full refund including original shipping costs for up to 30 days after delivery if an item arrives misdescribed or damaged.

About the Seller


Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2019
Tokyo, Tokyo

About Florilegius

Tokyo-based bookseller specializing in European illustrated books from the 18th to 19th century, mainly botanical, zoological, costume and travel. Also Japanese ukiyo-e and woodblock botanicals, flower arrangement, etc.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Title Page
A page at the front of a book which may contain the title of the book, any subtitles, the authors, contributors, editors, the...
In reference to a hinge or a book's binding, means that the glue which holds the opposing leaves has allowed them to separate,...
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also...
Book(s) which are sold at a very deep discount to alleviate publisher overstock. Often, though not always, they have a remainder...
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...
A new book is a book previously not circulated to a buyer. Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects, "new"...

This Book’s Categories