DOUBLEDAY, Edward (1811-1849) & John Obadiah WESTWOOD (1805-93)
The Genera of Diurnal Lepidoptera: comprising their generic characters, a notice of their habits and transformations, and a catalogue of the species of each genus.
London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1846-1852. 2 vols. Folio. (13 3/4 x 10 inches). 86 lithographed plates, of which 85 are beautifully hand-coloured.
Magnificent contemporary binding of full blue-green morocco richly gilt, a.e.g. by Clyde.
One of the rarest and most beautiful iconographies of Butterflies in a superb full morocco binding.
The author's intention (as laid out in the 'Address' in vol.I) was to provide 'a correct idea of the genera' of 'diurnal lepidoptera' from all over the world that would 'furnish the Student the means of investigating and arranging his Collection'. With this in mind they turned to the 'extensive collections of Diurnal Lepidoptera in the British Museum ... one of the finest ever formed, and still increasing rapidly.' Westwood also noted that 'much hitherto unpublished information as to their Metamorphoses and Habits has been derived from the large collections of Manuscripts and Drawings in the Library ... [of the British Museum], made by [John] Abbot [1751-1840] in Georgia, and by the late General [Thomas] Hardwicke [1755-1835] in the continent of India and its Dependencies'. Doubleday was only able to to complete about a third of the text before his death in 1849, and it fell to Westwood to complete the work, a work which includes descriptions of a large number of genera which had previously only been named. The very fine plates are probably the greatest published work of William Chapman Hewitson (1806-1878), who was by training and profession a surveyor who practiced in Bristol and York. This work amply demonstrates that he was also a very fine artist and lithographer, as well as being the author of a number of important entomological works in his own right, including Illustrations of New Species of Exotic Butterflies (London: -1876, 5 volumes).
BM(NH) I, p.474; Freeman 1037; Hagen I, p.180; Horn & Schenkling 5034; Nissen ZBI 1150; M. Salmon The Aurelian Legacy p.411, and cf. pp.148-150 & 150-153.