WATSON, White.

A Delineation of the Strata of Derbyshire, forming the surface from Bolsover in the east to Buxton in the west, by a plate, designed from a tablet, composed of the specimens of each stratum within the above line, with an explanatory account of the same; together with a description of the fossils found in these strata; and also of the nature and quality of the respective soils. Sheffield: Printed by W. Todd… 1811.

Price £ GBP 950.00

4to, pp. viii, 1 leaf (dedication), pp. iii, 72, 1 leaf (”Advertisement”), folding frontispiece of the geological section, 1 engraved plate. Gathering E misbound after gathering F. Bound with two other works (see below) in near-contemporary purple calf, sides panelled in blind and gilt, spine gilt (surface slightly rubbed), marbled edges and endpapers, a lovely copy. Armorial Belper bookplate (see below).

FIRST EDITION. One of the first English books to illustrate geological strata by the use of a section. “In 1811 and 1813 White Watson published two interesting little books describing Derbyshire strata, with a section across them. The section is nearly two feet long; the general broad anticlinal structure is well shown, but the vertical scale is so enormously exaggerated as to distort the natural arrangement. Ford (1960) [‘White Watson (1760–1835) and his geological sections’ in Proc. Geol. Ass., 71, 346–363] has recently thrown a flood of light on Watson and his work” (Challinor, p. 92). The section was originally made in 1794 as a tablet using specimens of the rocks themselves. “It was described briefly in an explanatory leaflet published at Bakewell in 1794, revised 1797, and much more fully in the [present] work of 1811, which is an interesting contribution to early stratigraphical literature” (Edwards, The early history of palaeontology, p. 54). This copy is bound with Rev. Samuel Pegge’s Sketch of the history of Bolsover and Peak Castles, in the county of Derby (1785), and Charles Sylvester’s The philosophy of domestic economy (1819), on the pioneering design of the Derbyshire Infirmary. This latter work is dedicated to William Strutt, who designed the heating and ventilating system for the Infirmary, and whose son Edward became Lord Belper. This is probably therefore the dedicatee’s own copy.

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