Catalog Archive
Auction 133, Lot 684

"[Lot of 12 - Animals and Birds]", Buffon, Comte de

Subject: Natural History, Animals & Birds

Period: 1766 (circa)

Publication: Histoire Naturelle Generale et Particuliere

Color: Hand Color

6 x 7.5 inches
15.2 x 19.1 cm
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Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, was a French naturalist, mathematician, cosmologist, and author. Today he is often referred to simply as Buffon. His greatest achievement was the publication of Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière, avec la description du Cabinet du Roi published in Paris 1749-1804, in 44 volumes (9 published posthumously). This ambitious project influenced the next two generations of naturalists. Characteristic of the Enlightment period, it was the first complete natural history survey presented in a popular encyclopedic format. He presented several theories that challenged theological dogma, including the suggestion that the earth was older than 6,000 years and that humans and apes might has a common ancestry. Jacques Eustache de Sève was the principal artist commissioned for the Histoire Naturelle, Générale et Particulière. His illustrations, which set the subjects within complete classical landscape backgrounds, influenced later natural history illustrators.

Buffon’s other major natural history publications were Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux, published in collaboration with Edme Louis Daubentaon, with illustrations by François-Nicolas Martinet, 1765-1780; and Encyclopedie Methodique, with illustrations by Jacques Eustache de Sève, 1774-1832.

An eclectic selection of copper engraved plates from Buffon's work. The lot includes the following birds: 1) l'Oie d'Egypte; 2) la Torcol; 3) le Grebe Cornu; 4) le Pluvier Dore; 5) le Lagopede; 6) le Pluvier a Collier; 7) le Merle d'Eau; and 8) l'Oie de Guinee. The large animals include: 9) de Belier des Indes; 10) la Brebis des Indes; 11) Autre Belier des Indes; and 12) le Zebu. Each plate were engraved by various craftsmen including C. Baguoy, Mansard, Guttenberg, la Villain and Valperga.


Condition: A+

Very nice examples.

Estimate: $300 - $400

Sold for: $200

Closed on 9/1/2010