PULTENEY, Richard (1730-1801)
Catalogues of the birds, shells, and some of the more rare plants, of Dorsetshire. From the new and enlarged edition of Mr. Hutchins’s history of that county
London: Printed by, J. Nichols, for the use of the compiler and his friends, 1799. Folio. (14 5/8 x 9 1/8 inches). Text in two columns. ,92pp.
Contemporary half calf and marbled paper covered boards, flat spine tooled and lettered in gilt, marbled endpapers (expert repairs at spine)
Very rare first edition of a rare catalogue of British birds, plants and shells.
Richard Pulteney received his doctorate in medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1764, before serving as the personal physician to the Earl of Bath. Following the Earl's death, he resided and practiced in Blandford, Dorset. Besides membership in a host of medical societies, Pulteney was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, as well as a Fellow of the Linnean Society. Indeed, he was an early promoter of Linnaean taxonomy, and authored the first English biography of Linnaeus in 1781. His cabinet of specimens, noted particularly for its shells, was donated to the Linnean Society following his death in 1801. This work is divided into three sections, viz. birds (pp. 1-22), shells (pp. 22-54) and plants (pp. 55-92), each with a prefatory note, and all preceded by a cancel title. Nissen and BM(NH) erroneously cite a portrait in this edition. Privately-published by Pulteney, few copies were printed; bookseller John Bohn cites fifty copies printed in an 1843 catalogue. Furthermore, it is believed that many printed copies were destroyed in the 1808 fire at Nichols' warehouse. ESTC cites but 7 extant examples, with only one being in North America (Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia).
ESTC T140194; BM(NH) IV:p. 1622; Pritzel 7367; Nissen, ZBI 3250.