BEECHEY, FREDERICK WILLIAM; SIR JOHN RICHARDSON; SIR RICHARD OWEN; and others.
The Zoology of Captain Beechey's Voyage; compiled from the collections and notes made by Captain Beechey, the officers and naturalist of the expedition, during a voyage to the Pacific and Behring's Straits performed in His Majesty's Ship Blossom ... in the Years 1825, 26, 27, and 28. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1839.
4to (274 x 206 mm). xiii, 11, [1 blank], 9*-13* (John Richardson's "Additional Observations"), 13-180 pp. Without half-title. With 44 hand-colored engraved plates (after E. Lear, G.B. Sowerby, J.D.C. Sowerby, and J.C. Zeitter, several printed in blue or brown), 3 engraved geological plans with hand-colored details, and 1 folding hand-colored engraved plate of geological sections. Contemporary polished calf gilt by J. Hatchard & Son, spine gilt in compartments. A few plate nos and captions shaved, scattered very light spotting to text, spine lightly sunned; guards present and overall a very attractive and fresh copy.
FIRST EDITION: AN IMPORTANT WORK NOTED FOR ITS STRIKING COLORED PLATES OF BIRDS, REPTILES, MAMMALS, AND MARINE LIFE. The collections and notes were done during the four-year voyage of the Blossom, a voyage to assist the expeditions of W.E. Parry and John Franklin. The notes are by John Richardson (mammalia), Nicholas A. Vigors (birds), George T. Lay and Edward T. Bennett (fishes), Richard Owen (crustacea), William Buckland (geology), and John Edward Gray (reptiles and shells). As Beechey explains in the introduction, the appearance of this work was long frustrated and it was only after a full eight years that it saw publication. In no uncertain terms, he states "that it [the delay] has been occasioned entirely by Mr. Gray's failing to furnish his part in spite of every intercession from myself and others...." As also noted by Beechey, although the nature of the Blossom's mission prevented long stays in any one locality, the crew did collect an astounding number of rare and exotic species from a good variety of locations. Hill 96; Sabin 71032.