754. [Ornithology]


A century of birds from the Himalaya mountains.

London, s.n., [1831-]1832

Large folio: [6-72] ff., 80 pls (tear in title repaired, sm. tear in list of subscribers, some light spotting throughout).

Cont. quarter giltruled maroon leather, purple shagreen boards, gilt orn. spine on 5 raised bands, red leather title label, marbl. endpapers (rubbed, corners bumped, some tears, joints starting to split, some sm. def. at spine). Good copy.

Very rare first edition, first issue of the first folio bird book by the famous British ornithologist John Gould (1804-1881). Beautifully illustrated with 80 hand-coloured lithographed plates figuring 102 birds, including hawks, owls, woodpeckers, hornbill and kingfisher, etc., drawn by Elizabeth Gould (1804-1841) after sketches by her husband. First issue with uncoloured backgrounds (the second issue has coloured plants and backgrounds). Text by N. Vigors. John Gould learned taxidermy at Windsor Castle, where his father worked as the foreman of the team of gardeners. In 1827 he became curator of the museum of the Zoological Society of London. The arrival in 1830 of a collection of exotic bird skins principally from the Indian Himalayas enabled him to produce this first of his many stunning folio bird books, later on followed by the multiple volume works Birds of Europe (1832-1837) and Birds of Australia (1840-1848). "The success of this first book established Gould's standard format and design, his subscription method of self-publication (no publisher being willing to bear the risk of a publication of this magnitude) and, most importantly, his method of organis[ing] other people to use their skills and then us[ing] their work to produce one of his own" (Cat. Bradley Martin). Ref. Nissen (IVB) 374. - Anker 168. - Fine Bird Books, p. 77. - Wood, p. 364. - Zimmer, p. 251. - The Library of H. Bradley Martin. Magnificent color-plate ornithology (Sotheby's 1989), n. 97. - BL. - Bn-Opale plus. Prov. Edward Wilson, Rigmaden (arm. bookpl.). - A.J.Dearden, 1920 (ms. add. to bookpl.).

€ 10.000 / 12.000

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