London: W. Mears, 1721. Quarto, 28 handcoloured engraved plates. Contemporary full calf and maroon leather label, some wear and corners bumped, all edges coloured, a sound copy.
Richard Bradley was appointed to the chair of botany at Cambridge University in 1724. This work is an early attempt to describe the animal and plant kingdoms. The illustrations are very interesting and well executed, many of them depicting live animals. Of Australasian interest is plate twelve which figures dorsal and ventral views of a Lesser Bird of Paradise Paradesiae minor drawn from a specimen in the Royal Society. The ventral view shows the feet which is significant because many of the early specimens sent to Europe had their feet removed giving rise to the supposition that these wonderful birds spent their lives totally airborne, hence the common name Birds of Paradise. There are also three coloured plates of reptiles and amphibians.
Price: $2,000.00 AU