Harris, William Cornwallis


Delineated from life in their native haunts, during a hunting expedition from the Cape Colony as far as the Tropic of Capricorn in 1836 and 1837, with sketches of the field sports.

Published: W. Pickering, London, 1840

Edition: First edition

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1 volume. First Edition First Issue 1840.

The Duke of Manchester copy with his armorial stamp.

The overall condition of the text and plates is unusally good

excepting two minute wormholes to plate 22 and the preceeding text leaf.

Some minor light damp-staining to lower fore-corner of final few leaves.

Modern half morocco over marbled boards.

Gilt lineal borders.

Red morocco gilt title.

Five gilt raised bands with gilt panel vignettes.

Triple gilt page-blocks.

Coloured endpapers.

vi, [1], 175 pages.

30 hand-coloured lithographed plates.

Additional title with hand-coloured lithographed vignette.

In-text illustrations.

"One of the rarest of all books dealing with African big game and sport,

this monumental presentation depicts wild game of southern Africa as

encountered and studied by Harris. The tinted lithographs highlighted

in colour by hand are especially lovely and make this volume exceptionally

desirable. Included among the portraits are elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros,

lion, leopard, kudu, roan, eland, and quagga, among others. Each of the

illustrations is also enlivened by scenic backgrounds of the habitat. The

portraits are highlighted with Harris' detailed descriptions of the game,

habitat, and with occasional mention of his hunting adventures".

[Czech, Bibliography of African Big Game Hunting Books 1785 -1999, pp 119].

"One of the most important and valuable of the large folio works on South African

fauna….. In addition to the beautiful coloured engravings (sic) which render this

work almost the most highly prized of the books relating to South African animals,

every plate is accompanied by an exhaustive chapter upon the characteristics of

the animal represented, as well as by a short sketch of its personal appearance."

[Mendelssohn. South African Bibliography, volume 1, pp 688-9.]

Somewhere between 400 and 500 subscribers (authorities differ on the exact

number) underwrote the considerable costs of printing the book.

Harris painted 31 watercolors especially for Portraits; each image

was lithographed from stone in black ink, then colored by hand.

The black is uniform on all copies, but the color varies considerably

from volume to volume. Similarly, there are several issues of the book

and variants of the different issues.

Altogether, from 500 to 550 copies were printed perhaps no more than

half of the original volumes have survived the combined ravages of time

and the pilferings of art collectors. [Sporting Classics Daily].


Recorded shipping weight 7500g.

Shipped and insured by recorded delivery.

  • Binding Condition: Very good
  • Overall Condition: Very good
  • Size: Elephant folio [56 x 39 cm]
  • Name: West Clare Rare Books
  • Contact Person: Tom Moloney
  • Country: Ireland
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 0657087803
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Credit Cards - PayPal - Cheque.
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved

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