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A History of the Birds of New Zealand [with] Supplement.

Stock Code 111281

London, published (for the subscribers) by the author, 1888-1905.

Original price $11,250.00 - Original price $11,250.00
Original price $0.00
$11,250.00 - $11,250.00
Current price $11,250.00
First work covering the birdlife of the Maori world. The much-enlarged second edition of Buller's richly illustrated History of the Birds of New Zealand, with his Supplement containing an additional 12 chromolithographed plates.

Together, the History and Supplement illustrate over 90 different species and subspecies native to the region, and represent the first major attempt to cover the birdlife of New Zealand and the Maori World. 'The text gives a complete synonymy for each species, describes both sexes, every condition of plumage, and tells the life-history of each bird from personal observations made by the author over a twenty-year period' (Anker).

The second edition was limited to 1000 copies, but of these some 251 sets were lost 'through a most unfortunate shipwreck' off Mercury Island in 1889, when the steamer S.S. Maitai was sunk, and again the following year when the barque Assaye was shipwrecked with the partial loss of Buller's personal library and curios (Buller, letter June 28th, 1889).

Nevertheless, Buller's (1838-1906) History established the author as the pre-eminent New Zealand ornithologist of his day, with the book becoming 'a New Zealand classic, and Keulemans's illustrations the definitive images of its native birds' (ODNB).

Second edition, 2 vols; folio (37 x 28 cm); 50 plates by J.G. Keuleman (48 coloured), tissue-guards, bookplate to front pastedown, contents and list of subscribers to vol. II, binder's label to rear pastedown; contemporary pebble-grain gilt-panelled blue morocco by Lyon & Blair, Wellington, gilt spine in 6 compartments, all edges gilt, minor wear to extremities, occasional minor spotting to text, very good; [with] first edition, 2 vols; folio (38.5 x 30 cm); engraved portrait frontispiece, 12 chromolithographs, and numerous in-text illustrations, presentation inscription in pen to front free endpaper, light spotting mostly affecting margins, title browned; publisher's red pictorial cloth, upper panels illustrated in gilt with kiwi, spines lettered in gilt, top-edge gilt, corners and spine ends slightly bumped, a little worn.

Zimmer 115; Ripley/Scribner 48; Nissen IVB, 163; Fine Bird Books 64; Anker 85.

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A History of the Birds of New Zealand [with] Supplement.

BULLER, Sir Walter Lawry; Keulemans, J.G. (illustrator).

Stock code: 111281



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