Lord’s entire new system of ornithology.
Or oecumenical history, of British birds. ... The writing corrected, & embellish’d, by the Rev.d Dr. Dupree. ...
London, Published by the Author, 1791
An exceedingly scarce book. Of the few copies in existence only a handful are known with the full complement of 114 engravings. ESTC lists only BL, Birmingham Central Libraries, Field Museum of Natural History, and Spencer Library, Kansas. Adding National Library of Ireland and BL for copies with 108 plates only.
Thomas Lord was a protege of the Rev. Matthew William Peters, R.A., chaplain to the Prince of Wales, and his descriptive text was revised by another clergyman, Dr. Dupree, master of Berkhampstead Grammar School. Many of the plates, said in the introduction to be 'as large as life, and copied with a minute and scrupulous accuracy from the original paintings executed by the author,' include the nests and eggs of the birds figured, and if not always accurate possess great charm.
The plates are dated from 30 May 1791 (also the date of the engraved tide-page) to 10 October 1796 and were evidently issued in 38 parts, each comprising 3 plates and the 3 accompanying leaves of letterpress. Incomplete copies most frequently lack some or all of the final 12 plates, and the number of the final few parts issued might well have been less than the typical earlier run.
First edition; folio (44 x 28 cm), engraved title, 112 (of 114) fine hand-coloured engraved plates by and after Lord, lacking plates XCV & C plus relevant text, and text to plate CII, tear repaired to blank lower margin text for plate I, tiny closed tear to text leaf for plate XCVI, Plate II with a couple of spots and splashes, spotting to binder’s blanks, occasional spotting or light soiling to text, title-page lightly toned, plates clean and fresh, contemporary blind-stamped calf, lightly rub
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