THE HIGHLY-DESIRABLE COLOURED ISSUE OF WHITE’S JOURNAL. John White was appointed chief surgeon to the First Fleet in October 1786 and remained in the colony as surgeon general until December 1794. Evidently a very keen natural historian, he recorded a plethora of new species in the colony during his seven years in New South Wales. He was assisted in his natural history recordings by several convicts, including Thomas Watling who produced a number of finished watercolours for White.
White sent back a number of drawings to London and also a large collection of specimens. When they arrived in 1789, they were described by expert taxonomists, and drawn by leading natural history artists including Sarah Stone and Frederick Nodder.
This copy of the first edition of White’s Journal includes the suppressed ‘Wattled Merops’ leaf, the list of subscribers, and the draughtsmen’s names are distinctly printed, indicating early impressions of the plates.
First edition, 4to, 65 handcoloured engraved plates on Whatman fine hand-made wove paper, list of subscribers; engraved title-page somewhat toned and lightly foxed, else a fine, crisp copy in full contemporary-style hatched calf, gilt rules to boards, spine gilt.
Abbey (Travel), 605: Ferguson, 97; Hill, 1858; Nissen ZBI, 4390; Wantrup, 17.
Stock ID: 98495