RUSSWURM, A.D.A. Some British and Continental Butterflies with Aberrations and Variations. No publisher. .
4to. 3 vols. Blue cloth binder (text), 2 green cloth binders with 'Stamp Album' in gilt to spines (illustrations); 102 original water colour plates of butterflies, each signed by Russwurm, with typed text leaves corresponding to each plate; fine.
Original and unpublished. This appears to be the draft of a book that was never published. Alexander Donald Abbot Russwurm (1904-2001), an extremely gifted artist who illustrated a number of books on lepidoptera, was also an expert on butterfly variations. His main publication as sole author was Aberrations of British Butterflies, published in 1978 by E.W. Classey, which became a standard text on the subject. It is very possible that the present work fed into the later published work, which had only 40 colour plates by Russwurm, but it has never been published in its own right and the beautiful, meticulous watercolours have never been seen elsewhere. They record variations within species of lepidoptera in exquisite, delicate detail and it is a pity that this work was never published. Perhaps it was considered too broad in range for British readers, but not broad enough for the wider European market. We shall never know, as this work is unrecorded anywhere.