678. [Ornithology]

AUDEBERT, Jean-Baptiste; VIEILLOT, Louis-Pierre

Histoire naturelle et générale des colibris, oiseaux-mouches, jacamars et promerops.

Paris, Desray, An XI (1802)

2 vol., 4to: [4]-xii-156-8-37, 35-164-37/55 pp. (some dispersed spotting and min. dampstaining in the margins).

Contemp. red shagreen with corners, marbled paper on covers (sm. restorations on corners), gilt orn. spines on 5 raised bands, marbled endpapers.

First edition of this splendid work on hummingbirds, jacamars and sugarbirds. Illustrated with 190 engr. pl. (of which 7 folding) by or after Audebert, printed in gold and colours by Langlois and finished by hand, representing a great number of new species or species which are now extinct. The plumage of the birds sparkles and changes in colour and appearance depending on the viewing angle of the spectator. To create such a richness Audebert had in fact solicited collectors and foreign firms which procured him with beautiful material to offer the most complete work possible. The pictures of the birds were executed by Audebert and "les plus habiles artistes de Paris et de Londres". The plates were printed by a method devised by Audebert which he had already used in his work on monkeys, while Louis Bouquet, "Professeur de dessin", assisted in the colouring of the plates. Audebert died after finishing the first section on hummingbirds, but the work was completed by Vieillot on the basis of Audebert's drawings and his notes concerning the "oiseaux mouches". The work was published in 32 instalments during 26 months and is divided in 10 sections with separate numbering of the plates. "The colours of the birds and their handsome appearance have evidently been the cause of their selection for inclusion in the book. The plates with the bird portraits are in beautiful colours; in this respect they are among the best colour prints found in ornithology" (Anker). The subscriber's list in the first vol. reflects the international prestige enjoyed by Audebert during his lifetime.
Ref. Nissen 47. - Anker 14. - Rosnil 103. - Casey A. Wood 207.

€ 4.000 / 5.000

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