National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904

Scientific Reports Comprising: Natural History, An Album of Photogrpahs And Sketches, A Portfolio Of Panoramic Views, Physical Observations, Magnetic Observations, Meteorology.

SCOTT, Robert Falcon

SCOTT, Robert Falcon National Antarctic Expedition, 1901-1904 Scientific Reports Comprising: Natural History, An Album of Photogrpahs And Sketches, A Portfolio Of Panoramic Views, Physical Observations, Magnetic Observations, Meteorology.

British Museum, Royal Society, 1907.

A complete set of the first editions of the scientific reports of the Discovery expedition. Eleven volumes and a portfolio. 4to. Publisher's burgundy boards over buckram. Spines lettered gilt. Extraordinarily well illustrated. The six volumes of Natural History contain 220 plates and 163 figures, maps and illustrations in the text, and three folding maps in rear pockets. This includes "colour plates by [Edward] Wilson in 'Aves' [which] are, simply put, magnificent, with their rare combination of attention to the finest detail, artistic mastery, and quality of printing and colouration".
The Album of Photographs And Sketches contains 141 plates, including twenty sepia photogravure plates, 229 black and white photographs on 108 plates, and thirteen illustrations by Edward Wilson.
The Portfolio contains two colour folding maps and twenty-four extraordinary folding panoramas by Edward Wilson, three of which are over nine feet in length.
Physical Observations contains twenty-one plates, including seven aurorae, and two colour maps, while Magnetic Observations contains forty-three plates.
The two volumes of Meteorology contain fifty-eight plates, one map in the text and two large folding maps, the second in four parts.
In all over five-hundred plates from the Heroic Age of Polar Exploration. A very good set indeed with sound hinges. Reference library bookplates to front pastedowns and stamps throughout, though not affecting any text. The buckram spines are faded as usual, with minor wear to the spine ends and the portfolio has been rebacked.

A magnificent set of the complete scientific record of the Discovery expedition, "a fitting testimony to the extraordinarily broad and thorough scientific investigations conducted by the expedition scientists and authorities back home" (Rosove).
Scientific collection and gathering of statistical material was greater on this expedition than any Antarctic expedition before it and the meticulous work of the expedition's crew took between three and ten years to finally publish. On their return to England, the scientific collections went to the Natural History Museum to be worked on by Edward Wilson, and the statistical material was deposited at the Royal Society. The chief experts in each field considered by these reports were consulted, and the result is contributions written by fifty-nine different individuals. The results include the first aerial view of the Antarctic, and the first report of a nesting colony of Emperor penguins, as well as the first truly comprehensive photographic documentation of "the evanescent and changeable nature of the Antarctic icescape" (Rosove).
Opportunities to acquire complete sets are scarce - only two other complete sets have been offered at auction in the last 25 years, and the Renard copy had only 10 of 12 volumes.

Rosove 288 1-11.

Stock ID: 39187

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