SCHLEGEL, Herman (1804-1884) and Abraham Henrik Verster DE WULVERHORST (1796-1882). Traité de Fauconnerie. Leiden and Düsseldorf: Arnz & Comp., '1844' [?1845]-1853.
2° (696 x 507mm). Tinted lithographic title by J.B. Sonderland and 16 plates comprising 2 mounted tinted lithographs by J. Dillman after Sonderland, 2 hand-coloured lithographs of hawking equipment by and after Portman and van Wouw, and 12 hand-coloured lithographs of birds of prey by Wendel after J. Wolf with backgrounds after C. Scheuren and G. Saal. Plates interleaved. (Lacking 3 preliminary leaves, 2 preliminary leaves creased and repaired, occasional light browning and spotting, plates re-guarded.) Modern green half morocco, spine gilt.
'THE FINEST WORK ON FALCONRY WHICH HAS EVER BEEN PRODUCED' (Harting), both on account of 'the beauty of the plates' and 'general accuracy of the letterpress', an opinion supported by Schwerdt who found the life-size illustrations of hawks 'by far the finest ever produced in any book on falconry'. The work was a collaborative effort between Schlegel, director of the National Natural History Museum in Leiden, Verster de Wulverhorst, Inspector of Hunting and Fishery in the province of South Holland and hunting author, and Joseph Wolf and J.B. Sonderman, whose work (with that of other contributing artists), was entrusted to the lithographic publishing firm of Arnz at Leiden. Sonderland's frontispiece contains eleven falconry vignettes, while the two plates after him depict heron hawking in 1844. Two other plates contain figures of hoods, jesses, lures and other accessories, while the final 12 plates portray magnificent figures of hawks after Joseph Wolf. Perhaps the most famous is that of the 'Groënlandais' or white gyrfalcon, illustrated above, which Peter Tuijn in his study of the Traité de Fauconnerie (Quaerendo 25, 1995, pp. 289-308), shows to have been based on a portrait of the bird by Pierre Louis Dubourcq. Harting 194; Fine Bird Books p. 138; Nissen IVB 832; Schwerdt II, p. 150; Souhart 424-425; Zimmer p. 554.