Lot 1
  • 1

Albin, Eleazar

2,500 - 3,500 USD
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  • A Natural History of English Insects. London: Printed for the author, 1720

  • paper
A Natural History of English Insects ... to which are added Large Notes And many Curious Observations by W[illiam] Derham. London: William & John Innys, 1724

4to (10 5/8 x 8 1/2 in.; 270 x 215 mm). Dedication, preface, list of subscribers, 100 engraved plates by H. Terasson after Albin, hand-colored by the author; title and preliminaries water-stained with mold stains and repairs in the gutter margins of those leaves, marginal soiling and staining, fore-margin of text facing plates 16 and 80 renewed without affecting text, dampstain in upper gutter margin of some leaves, lightly browned. 19th-century sheep, spine gilt-ruled with title labels; extremities rubbed.


Sarah B. Wheatland (pencil note on front fly leaf)


Nissen ZBI 58

Catalogue Note

Second edition, enlarged.

Eleazar Albin (d. 1742?), naturalist and watercolor painter, was well established as a teacher of watercolor painting by the time he met the naturalist Joseph Dandridge (about 1709), from whom he probably received some form of instruction in natural history. Under the patronage of Mary, Duchess of Beaufort, the first plates of the present work were engraved in 1713 and work proceeded apace until the onset of financial difficulties caused by the death of his patroness in January 1715. Subscriptions were slow to come in and as a result the work was not finally published until 1720. Ultimately attracting 170 subscribers, A Natural History of English Insects contained 100 copper plates which were hand-colored by the author on request.

"Each plate is dedicated to a subscriber or well-known personality, undoubtedly including those who acted as patrons or took an interest in Albin's drawings of insects" (Lisney).