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New Illustrations of Zoology

New Illustrations of Zoology

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New Illustrations of Zoology: Containing Fifty Coloured Plates of New, Curious and Non-Descript Birds, with a Few Quadrupeds, Reptiles and Insects

by Peter Brown

  • Used
  • Very Good
  • Hardcover
  • first
Very Good/None
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Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
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About This Item

A beautifully and vividly hand-coloured copy of this 18th-century ornithological classic.

With 50 vibrantly hand-coloured copperplates after illustrations by Peter Brown

Drawn mainly from specimens or drawings in the cabinets of curiosities of Marmaduke Tunstall (12 birds, 10 insects and one animal), zoologist Thomas Pennant (seven birds), Taylor White, James Lee of Hammersmith, Mr Yeats of Margaret Street, Mr Moon of Hyde Park, apothecaries Richard Green and Mr Jackson, banker Robert Child, Lady Read, zoologist Dr. Ramsay of Edinburgh, ornithologist George Edwards, and the collections of the British Museum and the Royal Society. There are also 20 birds and one insect based on sketches by Pieter Cornelius de Bevere sent from Joan Gideon Loten, Governor of Ceylon for the Dutch East India Company.

Includes critically endangered species such as the red-vented cockatoo Pl. 5, the straw-headed bulbul Pl. 12, and possibly the endangered Mauritius tody, Pl. 28.

Peter Brown was a Dane (according to Pennant) or a Norwegian (according to Loten), who was educated at a school in Sheem (Sheen, Stafford County?) from age 6 to 17. He worked as a zoological painter and illustrator in London from about 1760 to 1791. A member of the Incorporated Society of Artists, in the mid 1760s he completed the water-colour drawings of shells for Emanuel Mendes da Costa's Conchology, or Natural History of Shells, 1771. According to Selborne naturalist Gilbert White and brother of the publisher Benjamin, "Brown I think is in gaol in St. George's Fields" [a debtor's prison] in January 1776. His situation improved, however, and by 1777, Loten had "heard he is now in a good way by having been introduced to His Majesty to draw some patterns." In 1783, he was appointed botanical painter to the Prince of Wales. He later contributed to Pennant's Arctic Zoology 1784, and continued exhibiting at the Royal Academy until 1791.

Pieter Cornelius de Bevere, born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 1722 and died circa 1781, was a Dutch animal illustrator. He is known for his illustrations of the birds of Sri Lanka and Indonesia for the collection of Joan Gideon Loten, Governor of Ceylon for the Dutch East India Company.

"Peter Brown published his illustrations of Zoology chiefly from drawings made by the direction of Mr Loten of Ceylon and Java. I patronised Brown and wrote for him the greatest part of the descriptions - not the preface." (Thomas Pennant)

In the preface, Brown writes "I can say nothing myself on the Execution and Colouring of the Plates, but leave it entirely to the impartial Public to judge of their merit. *A certificate in Mr. Loten's handwriting declaring these plates faithful copies of his valuable drawings is in the hands of Mr. Benjamin White."

"Published at 5 pounds 5 shillings in boards"

According to Christine E. Jackson in British Bird Etchings, "the book has some attractive illustrations in it, not very well coloured." The plates are certainly very well and richly coloured in this copy, just perhaps not very accurately. The Black-winged Parroquet (Hapalopsittaca melanotis) is shown here in Pl. 8 with a crimson head and body. The bird is in fact mostly green and so described in the text.

Quarter leather with rebacked spine, gilt title, original marble boards scuffed and worn, original marble endpapers, title pages, text explanations and list of plates in French and English on 136 pages, 50 plates bound out of order with numbers in pencil outside the plate mark. A few scattered spots and ink stains, but all the plates with exquisite and vibrant hand-colour.


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Florilegius JP (JP)
Bookseller's Inventory #
New Illustrations of Zoology
Peter Brown
Peter Brown, Pieter Cornelius de Bevere
Quarter leather and marble boards
Book Condition
Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Quantity Available
Benjamin White, at Horace’s Head, Fleet Street
Place of Publication
Date Published
136, 50 plates
Quarto, 29.5 x 23cm
0.00 lbs
Peter Brown, Pieter Cornelius de Bevere, New Illustrations of Zoology, copperplate engraving, handcolour, ornithology, birds, zoology, illustration, 18th century,
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:

having had the material covering the spine replaced. ...
Full page illustration or photograph. Plates are printed separately from the text of the book, and bound in at production. I.e.,...
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....

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