Paris: Marcilly Ainé, circa 1825. Six twelvemo volumes, measuring 5.75 x 4 inches: 36 pages each. Original glazed pastel paper boards in different shades, upper boards elaborately blindstamped with oval gilt-ruled color pictorial pastedown labels. Hand-colored, tissue-guarded lithographic plate in each volume; title vignettes and tailpieces. Lightest soiling and shelfwear to bindings; occasional faint foxing; chip to lower margin of front free endpaper in Les Oiseaux. Housed in publisher’s decorative card box covered in ivory and gold embossed paper, lined in green paper, with calligraphic title lithographed on lid.
Complete set of natural history guidebooks for French ladies, covering the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms. The brilliant hand-colored plates depict staged tableaux of butterflies, insects, and birds; mixed bouquets of flowers and fruits; and a cabinet stocked with minerals and seashells. The subject matter reflects the nineteenth-century vogue for collecting, cataloguing, and arranging natural specimens, a scientific pursuit deemed appropriate for women and girls. Text in French; publisher’s imprint located in Les Fleurs. Gumuchian 4234 (volumes), 4232 (box). OCLC locates holdings at ten American institutions. Bright, near-fine examples, housed in the publisher’s original box.