Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1826-1828. First Edition. Hardcover. 3 vols. 1st edition of the first American zoology book based on firsthand observation (technically preceded by Fauna Americana, 1825, a guess filled compilation of European texts). Contemporary half calf, joints strengthened (not rebacked), light foxing else very good, complete with all 51 plates. Ex–Thomas Barbour, director of Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology from 1927–1946. Very good. Item #462
It’s comforting to know that most animal species went extinct before humans had a hand in it. We weren’t around for the Permian extinction (the PT boundary) or the Cretaceous extinction (the KT boundary), but we helped the Quaternary extinction. And now that we all carry cameras, why aren’t there more videos of Bigfoot?
When we say a book’s had its joints strengthened, we mean the work was done professionally, skillfully, and aesthetically, not what is often seen, which is older books crudely overhauled by heavy handed, night school workshop trained repair students, or worse, booksellers masquerading as restorers, molesting the books they sell with felt tip pens, sticky tape, and that goofy flex glue that Phil Swift yells at you to buy on TV. And someone tell these people that just because they were unpopular in high school is no excuse for becoming conservators. Or booksellers for that matter. And another thing. I know the frequency with which my diatribes on shameful bookselling appear in this catalog bother those who engage in it. Too bad. Grow up. I hope they don’t bother any of the rest of you. If they do, I’d like to say I’m sorry. But I’m not. They need to be said, and anyway, you and I can be blunt with one another. Candor implies equality (Book Code).