2 vol., large 4to: -203 pp., 72 pls; -175 pp., 73 pls (some marginal browning or spotting on the pls and on text pp.).
Cont. calf, triple gilt ruled border on covers, gilt orn. flat spines, gilt sides, marbl. edges, marbl. endpapers, pink silk markers (sl. rubbed, joints splitting). Very good copy.
First edition of this splendid book on parrots by the famous French ornithologist, natural scientist and traveller F. Levaillant, born in Paramaribo (Surinam) in 1753 and died in France in 1824. Illustrated with 145 marvellous engraved plates printed in colour by Langlois after drawings by the great zoological and botanical illustrator Jacques Barraband (1767-1809), and engraved by Bouquet. The pls are numbered 1-139, 2 bis, 95 bis, 98 bis, 107 bis, 108 bis and 110 bis. "The text of this monograph consists of descriptions of the parrots figured on the plates, which are mentioned by their vernacular names. The figures have been drawn from nature by Barraband, engraved and printed in colour. Some of the plates have been slightly retouched by hand" (Anker). All pls are protected by tissue guards. "After he had made himself Emperor, it was part of Napoleon's deliberate policy to initiate a series of magnificent publications that would vie with those undertaken on the orders of Louis XIV. These were sent as presents to crowned heads, men of science, and learned bodies, in evidence of the splendours of the Empire. In this manner many glorious books came into being, and it is in this light that we should see Redouté’s Les Liliacées and his two works on the flowers of La Malmaison. The works of Levaillant owe their sumptuous character to the same impetus. His "Histoire naturelle des perroquets" is, unwittingly, a part of the glories of Napoleonic France" (Fine bird books). This book was also publ. in large folio and - in only 12 copies - elephant folio format. In 1837-8 a continuation by A. Bourjot Saint-Hilaire of the work appeared as a third volume under the same title, and in 1857-58 C. de Souancé issued his " Iconographie des perroquets" as a second supplement. Ref. Nissen (IVB) 558. - Balis (Merveilleux plumages) 55. - Anker 302. - Ronsil 1780. - Fine bird books, p. 90. - Brunet III:1034. - Bn-Opale plus. - BL. Prov. Bookseller's ticket on front endpaper vol. I.
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