First edition, first printing. Folio. Publisher's original quarter tan calf over orange cloth bevelled boards with extensive embossed decoration. All edges gilt. Additional chromolithograph title page. Illustrated with 11 tissue-guarded chromolithograph plates, three further pages with chromolithographic embellishments, and with decorative borders to text pages. A very good copy, the binding with cracking to the hinges, minor lifting to the cloth, a little rubbing to the boards and spine, and wear to the corners. The slightly shaken contents with some scattered foxing (largely to the preliminary pages) and with the final plate loose (which also has some minor creasing to the margin) are otherwise in good order. The plates remain clean and bright, with the majority completely free from foxing or marking. An uncommonly attractive, unsophisticated copy of a book usually encountered in a poor or restored state due to its size and original binding materials.
A beautifully illustrated book exploring the native plants, flowers and insects of Tasmania by the Anglo-Australian writer and illustrator Louisa Anne Meredith (1812-1895). After emigrating to Tasmania in 1839, Meredith turned her attention to documenting the fascinating new flora and fauna surrounding her through drawing and photography. In terms of the latter medium, she was a pioneer, being one of the earliest female photographers in Australia (possibly, it has been speculated, even the first, although none of her photographic work survives). She produced the present work using another novel process - that of chromolithography - with great success, combining her own original drawings with evocative verse and simple scientific descriptions. The positive reception of this first endeavour encouraged her to publish several subsequent works similarly depicting Tasmania's natural history in gloriously rich, true colours. The present copy is in a superior variant publisher's binding; better than the standard cloth issue, but differing from the full calf deluxe issue. (Ferguson 12508).
Stock code: 22826
London: Day & Son.