1782. First Edition . HARRIS, Moses. Exposition of English Insects. London: Mr. White, 1782. Quarto, original marbled boards rebacked and recornered in green straight-grain morocco gilt, raised bands, uncut. $2800.Third edition, with one plain and 51 delicately hand-colored copper-engraved plates of nearly 500 illustrations of insects, entirely drawn and colored by Harris. In original boards, entirely uncut—a lovely, clean, large copy.Moses Harris (1731-1785?) became one of the most outstanding authors of entomological literature during the 18th century after studying under his uncle and earning his appointment as secretary of an Aurelian society—entomologists who took their name from the gold color of the chrysalids of the silkworm (Lisney, Bibliography of British Lepidoptera). A beautiful work in great estimation, each of this scarce editions beautifully detailed plates was drawn and colored by Harris, who was considered the best painter and engraver of insects of his day (Quaritch 2557). Harris text closely follows the outlines of the system of Linnaeus, and the volume features a preface and index, along with an engraved title page, one diagram plate and 51 hand-colored copper-engraved plates (including scarce frontispiece). Text in English and French. Preceded by 1776 and 1781 editions. Nissen ZBI 1838. See Benezit, 412. Bookplate of John Thomas Stanley, First Baron Stanley of Alderly (1766-1850). Bookseller ticket. Plates quite fresh, reinforcement to inner hinges, light scattered foxing to text, slight occasional dampstaining to margins and rear endpapers; original marbled boards quite nice. A lovely copy. (Inventory #: 59233)
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