Rare and Remarkable Animals of Scotland, Represented from Living Subjects: with Practical Observations on Their Nature

By: Dalyell, John Graham

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Two 11 inches tall hardcover volumes, recent 3/4 calf, spine with raised bands and gilt leather title labels, green moire cloth covered boards, bookplate of Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow front paste-down, handstamp of Aquatic Research Institute to front free endpaper. Vol. I, xii, 270 pp, 53 colored engraved plates; Vol. II, [iv], 322 pp, [2], 56 colored engraved plates with tisue guards. Small abrasions to edges of spine and tips of corners, old faint dampstain to lower corner of pages, touching only 1 image; occasional minor foxing; marginal browning & light chipping to endpapers, titles & last 2 leaves, overall very good in custom archival mylar covers. Cole Pt. 2, p. 74; BMNH p. 417; Nissen ZBI 1031.

SIR JOHN GRAHAM DALYELL (1775-1851) was a Scottish antiquary and naturalist. When an infant he fell from a table upon a stone floor and became lame for life. He attended classes first at St. Andrews, and secondly at the University of Edinburgh, and while there qualified himself for the Scotch bar, and became a member of the Faculty of Advocates in 1796. The work in the parliament-house proved to be too fatiguing for him, but he acquired a considerable business as a consulting advocate, and although a younger son and not wealthy he made it a rule of his legal practice not to accept a fee from a relative, a widow, or an orphan. In 1797 he was elected a member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and was chosen the first vice-president of that society; he also became a member of the Society of Arts for Scotland, and served as president 1839-40. Devoting himself to letters with an enthusiasm which animated him to the last, he soon turned his attention to the manuscript treasures of the Advocates' Library, and in 1798 produced his first work, Fragments of Scottish History. In addition to his knowledge of antiquarian lore he had also an extensive acquaintance with natural history, and in 1814 published Observations on several Species of Planaria, illustrated by colored figures of living animals. On 22 August 1836 he was created a knight by letters patent, and on 1 February 1841 succeeded his brother, Sir James Dalyell, as sixth baronet of Binns. With Rare and Remarkable Animals of Scotland published in 1847 (offered here), Dalyell published his most magnificent work, which was unfortunately delayed for nearly five years, owing to a dispute and a law process with the engraver. This delay deprived Dalyell of the full credit of several of his discoveries in connection with medusae, which feature prominently among the 100+ fine hand colored engravings of marine zoophytes.

FROM THE PREFACE: The substance of the following Treatise has been derived from a series of observations, protracted during many years. I have endeavoured to select the most vigorous living specimens of their kind; and along with a general description, to present their resemblance from delineations by the most skilful artists, By suitable precautions, I have been enabled to preserve individual subjects, one, two, nay, even ten or twenty years, and, by this long acquaintance, to gain some information of their character. The naturalist's earliest care ought to be obtaining an accurate delineation of his subject-always selecting the finest specimen-and taking it in motion, or when the parts are best unfolded. Herein it is preferable to employ another's talent than the naturalist himself, though a skilful artist. All specimens ought to be healthy, vigorous, and entire. I have endeavoured to practice this rule throughout, from conviction of its utility. Among many accomplished artists to whom this work is indebted, I cannot omit the late Mr Peter Syme, an eminent flower painter, the late Mr Alexander Macaulay, an amateur who devoted much of his time to similar studies,- John Welch, an excellent miniature painter, whose exquisite productions from the microscope are entitled to the highest admiration-likewise Mr Andrew Thorn, presently occupied in paintings for the Stained Glass Windows of the House of Lords, whose accuracy and patient diligence exceed all commendation.

Title: Rare and Remarkable Animals of Scotland, Represented from Living Subjects: with Practical Observations on Their Nature

Author Name: Dalyell, John Graham

Edition: First edition

Location Published: London, John Van Voorst: 1847

Categories: Biology, Marine biology, Natural history

Seller ID: 1316

Keywords: marine biology, natural history, plates, scotland, zoology, zoophytes