As Wood remarks: ‘The whole subject is attended with the utmost difficulty’. Professor Hale’s exhaustive study however now provides the bibliophile with a detailed guide to the history and collation of this impressive collection of ornithological plates. It is possible therefore to identify this copy as a first edition, since it includes not only the first issue title-pages, but also the five hand-coloured lithographic plates of birds’ eggs issued to purchasers of the first issue, as well as eight leaves of watercolour drawings of further eggs. It is interesting to note that the lithographic list of plates found here ‘occur in some of the early issues, probably because they were sought long after publication’ (Hale).
Seven vols., 8vo., 422 hand-coloured lithographed plates, (322 of birds, 100 of eggs), 7 black and white plates, the odd random spot otherwise near-fine, contemporary maroon morocco gilt, spine labels, mostly replaced to style with resultant variance between use of Roman numerals and numbers, otherwise a few minor marks and blemishes but in all an excellent set.
FBB p.123; Mullens and Swan 398; Nissen IVB, 627; Wood 462.
Stock ID: 98234