AZARA, Félix de
Apuntamientos para la historia natural de los paxaros del Paraguay y Rio de la Plata.
Madrid, Vda. de Ibarra, 1802-1805.
3 volumes, small 4to (205 x 143 mm) 2 unn.ll., XX [=XII] 399 pp., 399 [repeated]-534, 1 unn.l. (errata) for volume I ; VIII, 562 pp., 1 unn.l. (errata)à for volume II ; 2 unn.ll., VI, 479 pp. for volume III. Contemporary sheep-backed boards, flat spine gilt, yellow edges (spines skilfully restored).
4 500 
Palau, 20974 ; Zimmer, 28, note ; DSB, I, 351

In stock

First edition, very rare, as described by Zimmer calling it “a rare ornithological work”. It is frequently cited after its translations into German or French. “On account of the rarity of the original work, the present translation [for the note in the French edition of Voyages dans l’Amerique méridionale] is often cited in its stead, as is Harlaub’s “Systematischer Index to Don Felix de Azara’s Apuntamientos” (Zimmer).

“In 1781 the learned traveller Felix de Azara (1746-ca. 1811) was one of the commissioners charged, in execution of the treaty of Saint-Ildefonse, with tracing the limits of the possessions of Spain and Portugal in America, and took advantage of his stay in the new world to draw up a map of the vast regions whose borders he had just surveyed” (see, Grand Larousse).

“Azara’s contributions to natural history place him in the first rank among original observers… His descriptions of the forms and habits of both mammalia are exceedingly accurate” (The Biographical Dictionary, IV, p. 392) .

“In 1781 Azara received a commission to establish the frontier between Brazil and the neighbouring Spanish colonies. Upon his arrival in Montevideo, Uruguay, he was appointed captain of a frigate by the Spanish viceroy, who then sent him to Rio Grande and later to Asuncion, Paraguay ; this was the area Azar was to explore as both a geographer and a naturalist for thirteen years… Azara enlarged natural history by discovering a large number of new species. He also visualized great biological concepts expanded by Cuvier and Darwin both of whom quoted an accepted his views ; for instance on the variation undergone by horses under domestication” (DSB).

Proveannce : gilt initials at foot of spine ‘S.M.’.

Very good copy of this rare book.