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Portraits of the Game and Wild Animals of Southern Africa



London: W Pickering. Very Good. 1840. First Edition. Hardcover. First Edition, First Issue, folio (572 x 400mm). Hand-coloured lithographic title page, followed by a printed title page, both dated 1840. 30 lithographic plates drawn on stone by Frank Howard and printed on large Columbier paper with lithographed tail pieces. Bound in contemporary half dark red Morocco and marbled boards. Gilt edges and spine gilt in compartments with wildlife motif. Some wear to the edges and spine. List of subscribers in the back. Ex Libris for John Knox Agnew with a gift inscription in pen, Patrick Agnew, with Love dad; . Title page partly separated from spine. Scattered foxing throughout on the text pages, but the lithographic plates are generally clean. The first book to be entirely dedicated to big game hunting in Africa, which subsequently influence a great number of hunters to travel to South Africa. Harris was the consummate hunter's hunter, shooting animals in quantities never seen before and never matched since, partly due to the fact that most of the game was gone in later years. The book is inspired by his hunting expedition from the Cape Colony going as far as the Tropic of Capricorn in 1836; 1837.One of the most important and valuable of the large folio works on South African fauna; .. In addition to the beautiful coloured engravings (sic) which render this work almost the most highly prized of the books relating to South African animals, every plate is accompanied by an exhaustive chapter upon the characteristics of the animal represented, as well as by a short sketch of its personal appearance. ; Mendelssohn, (S. ) South African Bibliography, volume 1, page 688-9.'One of the rarest of all books dealing with African big game and sport, this monumental presentation depicts wild game of southern Africa as encountered and studied by Harris. The tinted lithographs highlighted in colour by hand are especially lovely and make this volume exceptionally desirable. Included among the portraits are elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, lion, leopard, kudu, roan, eland, and quagga, among others. Each of the illustrations is also enlivened by scenic backgrounds of the habitat. The portraits are highlighted with Harris' detailed descriptions of the game, habitat, and with occasional mention of his hunting adventures.' Kenneth Czech - Bibliography of African Big Game Hunting Books 1785 -1999, page 119.Abbey (J. R. ) Travel in Aquatint and Lithography 1779 - 1860, number 335, pages 287 - 290. ; Published in five parts at 2. 2s. Each part, on large (Columbier) paper, with tail-pieces, or at 1. 1s. Each part of ordinary (Imperial) paper without tail-pieces. The book was finally published in volume form in 1843 ; Elephant Folio 23" tall .


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