Natural History of Victoria. Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria; or, Figures and Descriptions of the Living Species of All Classes of the Victorian Indigenous Animals. Decades I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVII, XVIII, and XIX [fourteen of the twenty parts published]
Melbourne, 'By Authority ... Government Printer' (with the first six in this broken run 'Published by George Robertson'), 1878 to 1889.
Large octavo, fourteen parts, containing in total approximately 600 pages plus 139 plates (one a large folding plate numbered as two), all but a few of them chromolithographs or tinted lithographs.
Original printed stiffened wrappers a little chipped, creased and stained, with minor loss (confined mainly to the edges of the first and last numbers in the run); some loss of paper to the spines; minor paper residue to both covers of one part; one rear cover detached; small 'Zoology Dept. University of Adelaide' stamp on each front cover; scattered light foxing to the text, with the plates generally in excellent or fine condition, the only faults being some occasional light foxing, offsetting and paper-toning; leading margin of Plate 6 trimmed to the image and later replaced with plain card (we have seen a description of a complete set for sale with the same blemish to the same plate, so perhaps something happened to this particular plate during production); overall in decent condition.
The second part is signed in ink on the front cover 'James A. Holden'. This is almost certainly James Alexander Holden (1835-1887), who emigrated to Australia in the 1850s and 'settled in Adelaide where he began a leather and saddlery business, by 1883 a considerable establishment in the colony' (Australian Dictionary of Biography). However, it does not compare to the household-name business it became in the hands of his son - Sir Henry James Holden (1859-1926) - and grandson - Sir Edward Wheewall Holden (1885-1947).