London: Henry G. Bohn, 1839.
First edition of this very elusive publication. Quarto (11 1/4 x 8 7/8 inches; 283 x 225 mm.). xii, [1-12], 9*-14*, 13-180 pp. Complete with half-title and forty-four hand-colored engraved natural history plates after Edward Lear, J. D. C. Sowerby, and J. C. Zeitter by Zeitter and T. Landseer, four hand-colored engraved maps and plans (one folding) after E. Belcher. Plates with tissue guards. With presentation from Beechey on front free endpaper, and additional autographed signed letter from Beechey laid in. The presentation reads "Presented to E.J. Stanley Esq. M. P. Secretary to the Treasury...By Captain F.W. Beechey..." The letter is from Beechey to Stanley dated June 11 1840:
"Captain Beechey presents/ his Compliments to Mr. Stanley,/ requests his acceptance of the/accompanying volume of the /Zoology of the Voyage of H.M. Ship /Blossom when under his/ command in the Pacific./[?] /Campbeltown, MS/11 June 1840"
Original green textured cloth, rebacked preserving original spine. Original printed paper spine label. Boards stamped in blind. Some minor foxing, mainly to preliminary leaves and a few tissue guards. Some guards with offsetting. Previous owner's bookplate on rear endpaper. Overall the color-plates are extremely bright and clean. Overall a very good copy.
"Beechey's expedition to the North Pacific, through the Bering Strait and as far as Point Barrow, had as its objective to meet Franklin and Perry and to convey them to safety after their polar expeditions. Beechey's voyage was productive of much scientific data about Alaska and [this book] is an important record of these achievements" (Lada-Mocarski).
The section on ornithology, which identifies several new species, was written by Nicholas A. Vigors and is illustrated by twelve bird plates by Edward Lear. Lear also contributed the two plates to the text on mammalia, which was written by John Richardson. The other natural history contributors were G. T. Lay and E. T. Bennett on fishes (illustrated by 9 plates with 24 figures); Richard Owen on crustacea (5 plates with 16 figures); John E. Gray on reptilia (4 plates with 10 figures); and Gray and G. B. Sowerby on mollusks and shells (12 plates with 158 figures)
Ayer/Zimmer, 51. Copenhagen/Anker 517. Fine Bird Books, 59. Lada-Mocarski 105. McGill/Wood, 229. Nissen, BBI, 928. Nissen, IVB, 961. Nissen, ZBI, 285. Sabin 71032.