2 volumes. 4to., (11 ¾ x 9 5/8 inches). Additional letterpress title page, publisher’s Advertisement (some offsetting, occasional spotting throughout and one or two pale stains). Extraillustrated with 232 engravings, some with original hand color, watermarked 1807, 1812, 1813, and 1814 (some offsetting, occasional spotting and browning). Contemporary full straight-grained red morocco, both covers gilt-ruled with a blind-stamped border, the spine in six compartments with five raised bands, gilt-lettered in four and elaborately decorated in two, all edges gilt (rear board of volume II detached; expertly rebacked, preserving the original spine; extremities worn).
Provenance: Contemporary manuscript ownership inscription of J. Ainsley to front free endpapers, with his bookplate to the front pastedowns.
Second quarto edition, preceded by another quarto edition, an exceptionally rare one in folio, and one in octavo. Limited issue, 1 of 175 copies, also published in folio in an edition of 25. Profusely illustrated with copper and wood engravings and lithographed plates, including a fine folding lithographed plate with original hand-color depicting the “Great Fire of London in the Year 1666,” and a folding copper-plate engraving on blue paper. From the publisher’s Advertisement: “This edition is published without any Illustrations of prints whatever; but titles are printed, for the purchasers who choose to amuse themselves in the pursuit of illustrating; and an assortment of some hundreds of portraits, views, medals, and historical prints, may be had, together or separate, at the Publisher’s.” Though principally known as a naturalist, having produced the important works “British Zoology” and “History of Quadrupeds,” Pennant’s posthumous book on the history of London was also quite popular, going through a number of editions.