Lot 41
  • 41

Buffon, George Marie Leclerc Comte de

15,000 - 20,000 GBP
16,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière, avec la description du Cabinet du roy. Amsterdam: J.H. Schneider; Dordrecht: A. Blusse, 1766–1799
  • paper
38 volumes bound in 21, 4to (275 x 220mm.), engraved portrait (with additional plain portrait pasted on verso), engraved vignettes and 1144 engraved plates (7 folding), all hand-coloured, engraved table of dogs, 12 maps (10 folding), errata leaf in vol.5 birds, advertisements in vol.15, contemporary half brown calf, scattered staining and spotting, a few tears and repairs, apparently lacking a few half-titles or leaves (e.g. vol.1 and 2 birds), bindings with extremities repaired


Nissen ZBI 678

Catalogue Note

Buffon, director of the Jardin du Roi, collected and analysed countless living, dead, and fossilized organisms in an effort to understand their anatomy, classification, and distribution. Buffon was to imply that not only was the world much older than Biblical orthodoxy taught, but that different species were subtly related. The Histoire naturelle is a lavishly illustrated and highly colourful summation of Buffon's work. This edition, published in Dordrecht, though with a few variant Amsterdam titles, is notoriously erratic in makeup. Nissen 678 gives an elaborate collation with a total of 1121 plates (although he incorrectly adds up his collation to 1122 plates); but collations seem to change from one copy to another. A copy sold in 1997 had 1157 plates and maps. Another copy sold at Sotheby's London in 2007 had 4 maps and 1138 plates (Sotheby's London, 10 May 2007, lot 26).