The book “La Ménagerie du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle” was published in ten instalments in folio in Paris during the years 1800-1805. The original first instalment appeared anonymously, drawing all attention in the title to the fine plates (fig. 1: 1st edition). Later the text of the first instalment was revised and reprinted with a new title page in which the names of Lacépède and Cuvier figured modestly (fig. 2: 1st issue of the 2nd edition). Finally a new title page was issued emphasizing the authorship of Lacépède and Cuvier (fig. 3: 2nd issue of the 2nd edition). The sequence of publication of the various text parts and plates was reconstructed with the aid of notices in contemporary literature (tables I & IV, respectively). An adequate description of this intricate book, of which several incomplete copies survive, proved possible only by using the method of analytical bibliography as described by Bowers. Hitherto, this method has rarely been applied to zoological literature and therefore it is fully explained. The collation of an “ideal copy”, in Bowers’ sense, of the 1st and 2nd edition in folio is represented in tables II & III, respectively. The bibliographical description of both folio editions is followed by a list of copies consulted and a list of copies encountered in the literature. By far the largest part of the text, which in all consists of 37 separately paged articles, was written by Georges Cuvier (31 articles). Bernard-Germain-Étienne de la Ville, Comte de Lacépède wrote the introduction and the articles on the Lioness and the Tiger. Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire contributed three articles as well. The 41 copperplates were all engraved by Simon-Charles Miger, after drawings by Nicolas Maréchal (36), Pierre-François de Wailly (4) and Nicolas Huet (1) (see table IV). Maréchal’s death, a general slackness in the printer’s trade, and the great success of the published (“pocket”) edition in 12mo were perhaps responsible for the discontinuation of the 2nd edition in folio.

Bijdragen tot de dierkunde

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Naturalis journals & series

Pieters, F. F. J. M. (1981). «La Ménagerie du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle» par Lacépède, Cuvier & Geoffroy. I. Historique de l’impression et description bibliographique des éditions françaises in-folio. Bijdragen tot de dierkunde, 51(2), 219–249.