Catalog Archive
Auction 135, Lot 786

"Thirty Plates Illustrative of Natural Phenomena, Etc.", Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK)

Subject: Natural Phenomena

Period: 1849 (published)


Color: Hand Color

11.2 x 13.7 inches
28.4 x 34.8 cm

Second collected edition of this rare and interesting work on the natural phenomena in the atmosphere, on land and sea. It consists of a printed title page and 30 beautifully, hand-colored plates with a description of the phenomena, including rainbows, geysers, water spouts, glaciers, volcanoes, and sand-storms, as well as some more unusual ones like Will-o'-the-Wisp and the Fata Morgana. The plates were available individually in addition to the collected edition, which was published in 1846 and 1849. They were offered both colored and uncolored - Price 3/4d. Plain and 2d. Coloured as noted below the publishers imprint. There are a few copies of the collected edition in institutional collections, but we can find no auction records in the last 30 years. Large, thin 4to, original brown, embossed cloth covered boards, gilt-lettered on upper cover.

The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (more commonly known as SPCK) is the oldest Anglican mission organization, founded in 1698 by Thomas Bray. From its earliest days SPCK commissioned tracts and pamphlets, making it the third oldest publishing house in England (closely following the Oxford and Cambridge University Presses). They published a broad range of material including pamphlets aimed at specific groups such as farmers, prisoners, soldiers, seamen, servants and slave-owners, general religious works, devotional literature and, from the 1830s onwards, on general educational topics.


Condition: B+

Plates all at least very good. Endpapers and front cover loose with spine very worn with most of the cloth missing.

Estimate: $500 - $600

Sold for: $350

Closed on 2/16/2011