London: Printed for A. Strahan, and T. Cadell, 1791. Third edition. Octavo (22cm). Nine volumes in contemporary sprinkled calf, gilt titles on red leather spine labels; plain endpapers; vol. I: xx,514pp; vol. II: [iv],517pp; vol. III: [viii],524pp; vol. IV: [ii],,[iii]-[vi],352pp; vol. V: [viii],440pp; vol. VI: [iv],443,pp; vol. VII: [viii],452pp; vol. VIII: [viii],352pp; vol. IX: [viii],422,pp; with frontispiece and 289 of the original 307 full-page plates, lacking 18 plates (I-II, CXIII-CXVI, CXXIX-CXXX, CXLVII-CXLIX, CLXVI, CLXXXVIII, CLXXXIX, CCLXI-CCLXII, CCLXXXIV-CCLXXXV). With bookplates of Henrietta Anne Acland (1765-1841) and the Fortescue family in vols 4, 6, and 7; bookplate of noted zoologist James G. Mead in each volume. Sturdy set, scuffed and rubbed, with neat amateur tissue repairs to all joints, some corners exposed and frayed; internally largely clean with scattered minor foxing, minor dampstain to front pastedowns in vols 1-3, 5, 8-9: Good.
Lavishly illustrated English translation and expansion of Buffon's classic of natural history. William Smellie was a Scottish printer, naturalist, and antiquary who also edited the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Two previous English-language editions were published in Edinburgh (1780-85) and London (1785).
This set originally belonged to Henrietta Anne Hoare (ca 1765-1841), with her bookplate from her first marriage to Sir Thomas Acland, 9th Bt and later bookplates from the family of her second husband Captain the Hon. Matthew Fortescue (1754-1842), younger brother of the first Earl Fortescue. ESTC T139141.