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This is a set of 28 volumes comprising the complete bird section of Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon’s Histoire naturelle, générale et particuliere nouvelle edition. The work was published in Paris by J. Dufart between 1798 and 1802.
The engravings are presented in both the uncolored and hand-colored state, side by side. There are app 256 unique plates presented this way, for 512 engavings in total. They are bound in contemporary brown tree calf, red and black morocco labels to spines, covers and spines gilt-tooled, gilt edges, marbled endpapers, inner dentelles, and original silk ties.
Buffon’s work became one of the most informative sources as far as the visual appearance of animals, and was highly understandable for a wide audience. Buffon described his work and love for natural history by stating that, “Natural history embraces all the objects the universe presents to us. This prodigious multitude of quadrupeds, birds, fish, insects, plants, minerals, etc., offers to the curiosity of the human mind a vast spectacle, of which the whole is so great that the details are inexhaustible.”
Provenance: Henry Rogers Broughton bookplate