Velley, Thomas | Coloured Figures of Marine Plants Found on the Southern Coast of England
The first edition of the first English book devoted to marine plants. A handsome copy, recently rebound and with all five of the delicate, hand-coloured plates. Only one other copy appears in auction records after the 1970s, at Bloomsbury in 2008.
Author Thomas Velley (baptised 1748-1806) was educated in the law at Oxford but devoted much of his time to botany, “especially to the study of algae. He collected in Essex, the Isle of Wight, and along the south coast. He was the friend and correspondent of Sir James Edward Smith, Dawson Turner, John Stackhouse, Sir Thomas Gery Cullum, Sir William Watson, and Richard Relhan, and became a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1792” (ODNB). Coloured Figures of Marine Plants was his only book, but he also published three scientific papers. At his death, his extensive herbarium was purchased for the Liverpool Botanic Garden.
Bibliography: Freeman, British Natural History Books 3820
...Illustrated with Descriptions and Observations: Accompanied with a Figure of the Arabis Stricta from St. Vincent's Rock. To Which is Prefixed an Enquiry into the Mode of Propagation Peculiar to Sea Plants. Bath: B. and J. White; T. Edwards; S. Hazard; and J. Barratt, 1795.
Folio (450 x 280 mm). Recent green quarter morocco, green cloth sides, title to spine gilt, new endpapers. 5 hand-coloured engraved plates. Lacking the front blank. Very short closed tear and minor creasing affecting the top edge of the title and B1, associated minor abrasions to the top edges of B2 and C1. An excellent, fresh copy, the contents clean.