London: British Museum (Natural History), 1910-1913. Large quarto, two photographic frontispieces, 23 uncoloured lithographs. Publisher's red gilt blindstamped cloth, two library numbers on spines, red biro library numbers on blank recto of frontispieces, a few spots affecting the plates. A bright crisp handsome set with two paper ex-libris on the front pastedowns, one with the note "This is copy No. 21 of 25 copies ... printed on special paper". This rare thick paper edition was almost certainly published for presentation.
One of the classics of palaeontological literature. This copy originated from New Zealand and is likely to have been the copy of Charles Leeds, the discoverer of the original Plesiosaur.
"Nearly all the remains of marine Reptilia of the Oxford Clay enumerated and described in this catalogue were collected from the numerous clay-pits near Peterborough worked for the making of bricks, ... A few of the earlier specimens were discovered by Charles E. Leeds, but the greater part of the collection was made by his brother Mr Alfred N. Leeds, of Eyebury, who soon became associated with him. It is more than forty years since the collection was begun by Mr Charles E. Leeds, and some of his first discoveries were described and figured by Phillips in his Geology of Oxford and the Valley of the Thames, published in 1871. He left for New Zealand in 1887, but his brother has continued the work to the present day with the most astonishing results. Both in the number of species represented and in the perfect preservation of their remains, the Leeds collection far surpasses any other single collection of Mesozoic vertebrates, especially one in which all the specimens are from one horizon and from a restricted area. Not only marine forms, but remains of terrestrial reptiles, including several species of dinosaurs, have been obtained" (Introduction p. v).
BM(NH) Supplement p. 25.
Price: $6,000.00 AU