“ALL RACES ARE OF ONE SPECIES”: COMPANION VOLUME OF HAND-COLORED AQUATINT PLATES FOR JAMES PRICHARD’S NATURAL HISTORY OF MAN, 1855
PRICHARD, James Cowles. Plate-Volume to: [The Natural History of Man, Comprising Inquiries Into the Modifying Influence of the Physical and Moral Agencies of the Different Tribes of the Human Family. Edited and Enlarged by Edwin Norris]. [London and New York: H. Bailliere, 1855]. Octavo, contemporary three-quarter brown calf gilt, raised bands, red morocco label, purple pebbled cloth. $1000.
Plate volume for the fourth edition of Prichard’s innovative synthesis of the races, “upon which modern ethnological research has been based” (PMM, 184), with 56 (of 62) lovely hand-colored aquatint plates.
Prichard’s “vast researches were ‘directed to the physical diversities which characterise different races of men… [from which] he concluded that the human race was originally dark-skinned… and that ‘all races are of one species and of one family” (PMM, 183-84). The Natural History of Man was first published in parts in 1841-42, and in book form in 1843. It was the condensed version of his five-volume Researches Into the Physical History of Mankind (1836-47) and originally contained only 36 plates. This companion volume of 53 hand-colored aquatint plates and three uncolored plates (of a total of 62) for the 1855 fourth edition are drawn after well-known artists, chief among them George Catlin, to whose work eight of the images can be traced (and six others bear striking resemblance). Without plates 3, 31, 32, 34, 60, 61, and 62. Two different plates share the same number, 41 (one of which could be plate 61). Several plates bound out of sequence. Sabin 65475. See Norman 1741-1746; Garrison & Morton 159. Owner monogram.
Occasional light finger marks. An extremely good copy, handsomely bound.