Rare Book Auction includes early illustration of a Duck-billed Platypus

Published 19th July 2017

At a time when books for children had to have a strong educational purpose, the charmingly illustrated The Book of Birds and Beasts by Mary Elliott, with 48 beautifully hand coloured plates must have been a delight to children when they were given it.

According to the British Library, it was published in 1826, just over fifty years after Captain Cook reached the South East Coast of Australia. One of the illustrations is of a Duck-billed Platypus from New Holland, which must be one of the earliest depictions of the animal in a children's book.

one of the illustrations from the book of birds and beasts.

One of the illustrations from the Book of Birds and Beasts.

The estimate for this unusual book is £100-£200 and it will be included in the forthcoming Antiquarian Book Auction in Exeter, Devon on 6th September 2017.

Subscribe to catalogue alerts & news

Select your interests