AZARA, Félix Manuel de (1746-1821)
Voyages dans l'Amérique Méridionale, par Don Félix De Azara ... depuis 1781 jusqu'en 1801
Paris: Dentu, 1809. 5 volumes (text: 4 volumes, 8vo [7 3/4 x 4 7/8 inches]; atlas: folio [14 x 10 1/4 inches]). Text: lx,389; ,562pp. plus three folding tables; ,ii,479; ,380pp. Atlas: pp. Twenty-five engraved maps and plates. Atlas uncut.
Text: contemporary tree calf, covers bordered in gilt, flat spine in compartments with red and black morocco lettering pieces in the second and fourth, the others with a repeat decoration in gilt, marbled endpapers. Atlas: publisher's blue paper boards, printed paper label on the upper cover.
The preferred First French Edition, with additional notes by Cuvier and Sonnini: the atlas here uncut and in original boards.
An important work by Spanish naturalist Felix de Azara (1746-1821). Azara, a military officer, was part of a delegation to settle the boundary dispute between Spain and Portugal in the Rio de la Plata region. He was in the region for twenty years, from 1781 to 1801, documenting the wildlife, natives, and geography of the area. This work is the culmination of his time there, published upon his return to Europe. The atlas includes folding maps of South America, Paraguay and the Province of Buenos Aires, the Government of Buenos Aires, the Government of Paraguay and part of Chaco, and the Province of Chiquitos and Government of Matagroso and of Cuyaba; eight city plans and views, including a double-page plan and view of Buenos Aires, seven plates depicting animals, and four plates depicting birds. First published in Spanish in Madrid between 1802 and 1805, the work provides an important contribution to natural history, describing over 400 species of birds, many for the first time (see vols. 3 and 4 of the text). Interestingly, Darwin would read Azara's work following his return from the second voyage and refer to it within his Voyage of the Beagle.
Palau 20975; Sabin 2541; Field 62; Wood, p. 214.