LE JARDIN DES PLANTES Description et moeurs des mamifères de la ménagerie et du Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle... précède d’une introduction historique, descriptive et pittoresque par M. J. Janin. Paris, J. J. Dubochet et Ce Éditeurs, rue de Seine, 55.
1842. Large 8vo, pp. [vi] including initial blank, lxvi, [ii], 472, [ii] blank; with four full-page hand-coloured ornithological plates (retaining tissue guards), two wood-engraved portraits of Buffon and Cuvier by Karl Girardet, one folding aquatint plan (somewhat foxed and cropped close at head shaving title), 51 full-page wood engraved plates, and with coloured title-page vignette and a further 214 charming coloured wood engraved head and tail-pieces; small nick with loss at title-page gutter, and small dink at head of p. 373, some foxing and soiling throughout to both text and plates, the plates at p. 92, 313, 373 and 428 very browned being printed on different paper stock; with old accession numbers in ms at head of front paper, and also stamped at lower corner; small paper pocket mounted on front pastedown, to house original engraved entrance ticket for four people, and signed in a contemporary hand ‘P(?) D, de Blainville’; in contemporary green morocco backed pebble cloth, covers ruled in blind, spine attractively tooled and lettered in gilt depicting birds, flowers, trees, a bear, giraffe and monkeys, all edges gilt, with moiré endpapers,inner hinges starting but holding firm, both upper and lower joints cracked at head, with 6cm split to upper joint, surfaces a little rubbed, corners bumped with signs of previous minor repairs; housed within later red paperbacked card slip-case. Rare deluxe hand-coloured edition of this copiously illustrated guide to the menagerie within Paris Natural History Museum. The work of Pierre Boitard (1789-1858), with an extensive historical introduction by Jules Janin (1804-1874), the work appears to have been originally published in weekly parts in the magazine ‘Le Pantheon populaire illustre’ the previous year, before being published in book form in 1842.
A two volume companion work, under a similar title, was also published between 1842-43, and which described the plants within the famous gardens themselves, penned by Pierre Bernard, Emmanuel Le Maout, and published by L. Curmer (see Grolier 65 and 66).
Bibliography: Brivois, Bibliographie des ouvrages illustrés du XIXème, p. 213; Carteret III, Le Trésor du bibliophile, p. 97; Nissen ZBI 454; Vicaire I, Manuel de l'mateur de livres du XIXème, 837.