Original decorative red morocco, rebacked and recornered. Boards and spine beautifully ruled in and tooled in gilt. Spine lettered in gilt. Gilt dentelles. All edges gilt. Newer Dutch patterned gold endpapers. Inner hinges reinforced with cloth tape. A bit of light offsetting and toning. One of the preliminary blanks with a two-inch closed tear, professionally repaired. A clean and handsome copy.
"Albin, Eleazar (d. 1742?), naturalist and watercolour painter...Albin was well established as a teacher of watercolour painting by the time he met the silk weaver and naturalist Joseph Dandridge (in or about 1709), and had already developed an interest in flowers and insects. It is probable that Albin then received some form of instruction in natural history from Dandridge before being recommended to a Mrs How, a widow for whom he painted ‘a great Number of both Caterpillars and Flies’ (Insects, preface)...Ultimately attracting 170 subscribers, A Natural History of English Insects contained 100 copper plates which were hand-coloured by the author on request. Albin stressed that the insects depicted were copied ‘exactly after the Life’ as he had ‘observed it as a great Fault of those who have gone before me in this Way, that they either did not look often enough at their Pattern, or affected to make the Picture outdo Nature’." (Dictionary of National Biography).
HBS # 65679 $7,500