Boston: Bradlee Whidden, 1900.
From an edition limited to 500 numbered sets, this is number 183. xvi,161; xvi,-361pp. including approximately 400 in-text illustrations, plus fifty-six nature-printed and handcolored plates. Half titles. [With:] Thirty-one original moth and butterfly specimens. All but two moth and butterfly specimens mounted in original Denton Brothers boxes, many stamped with the Denton Brothers address (the remaining two examples in a single Riker mount). 2 vols. Large 8vo. Remarkable Nature-Printed Work, Accompanied by Thirty-One Original Moth and Butterfly Specimens From the Denton Brothers. Publisher's crushed brown morocco gilt, spines tooled in gilt with butterfly decorations, a.e.g. Moderate scuffing to edges, some rubbing and light soiling to boards, corners worn. Tiny ownership label of Canadian entomologist W.H. Harrington on each titlepage. One butterfly specimen broken. Very good condition overall Whitman, p. 33. Item #321254
From an edition limited to 500 numbered sets (this is number 183) of this sumptuous color plate book on the butterflies of the United States east of the Rockies, accompanied by thirty-one original moth and butterfly specimens offered by the Denton Brothers. This is the first time we have ever seen such actual moth and butterfly specimens from the Dentons.
The color plates in this work are quite remarkable: while the bodies are hand-colored engravings, the wings are nature-printed impressions from the actual insects' wings pressed onto the paper. In the preface Denton describes his labors as he traveled widely in search of specimens: "The colored plates, or Nature Prints, used in the work, are direct transfers from the insects themselves; that is to say, the scales of the wings of the insects are transferred to paper while the bodies are printed from engravings and afterward colored by hand....I have had to make over fifty thousand of these transfers for the entire edition, not being able to get anyone to help me who would do the work as I desired it done....I will say, however, that there was never a laborer more in love with his work."
Additionally, this set comes with thirty-one examples of moth and butterfly specimens collected by the Denton Brothers, many of which are mounted in the original Denton Brothers boxes. The boxes were themselves a groundbreaking invention by Sherman Denton, in which the wings of the specimens were mounted between a glass shelf on each side of the body and a flat piece of glass on the front, effectively suspending the body of the specimen in the middle. The sides of the glass support system are sealed with a passe-partout binding. Denton's innovation was a great improvement over previous methods of displaying moth and butterfly specimens, which involved impaling them on pins and preserving them with chemicals which, ultimately, did not halt the tendency of the specimens to crumble and their colors to fade. Sherman Denton and his family produced thousands of such mounted specimens, and their work was celebrated and collected in the United States, England, and Europe. Some of the specimens in the present group have printed Denton Brothers labels on the passe-partout with manuscript captions identifying the specimen. Examples include "Argynnis idalia Massachusetts," "Argynnis cybela New Hampshire," "Philampelus achemon Connecticut," "Papilio philenor Texas," and many others.
The original owner of this set, W. Hague Harrington was a noted Canadian entomologist. Harrington worked mainly in Ottawa, and published regularly in THE CANADIAN ENTOMOLOGIST. He served as the president of the Entomological Society of Ontario from 1893-96, as well as on the ESO's council and as their Delegate to the Royal Society of London.
A wonderful limited edition set of Denton's MOTHS AND BUTTERFLIES with original moths and butterflies.
Price: $8,500.00 Free International Delivery