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    Sale 7536

    Important Natural History Books From The Arcadian Library

    14 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 203

    AUDEBERT, Jean Baptiste (1759-1800) and Louis Jean Pierre VIEILLOT (1748-1831). Oiseaux dorés ou à reflets métalliques. I. Histoire naturelle et générale des colibris, oiseaux-mouches, jacamars et promerops. II. Des grimpéreaux et des oiseaux de paradis. Paris: Crapelet for Desray, [1800-]1802.

    Price Realised  

    AUDEBERT, Jean Baptiste (1759-1800) and Louis Jean Pierre VIEILLOT (1748-1831). Oiseaux dorés ou à reflets métalliques. I. Histoire naturelle et générale des colibris, oiseaux-mouches, jacamars et promerops. II. Des grimpéreaux et des oiseaux de paradis. Paris: Crapelet for Desray, [1800-]1802.

    2 volumes, 2° (510 x 335mm). 190 etched plates by Audebert, printed in colours and gold by Langlois. (Very light offsetting to a few of the text leaves.) Contemporary brown calf, spines gilt in compartments with raised bands, green and yellow morocco lettering-pieces (slighly rubbed). Provenance: Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria (two stamps on verso of each hal- title) -- National Bibliothek in Vienna (duplicate disposal stamp dated 1947 at the end of each volume) -- Otto Schaefer (his sale at Sotheby's London, 27 June 1995, lot 18).

    FIRST EDITION. ONE OF THE 200 COPIES IN FOLIO WITH CAPTIONS PRINTED IN GOLD. THE COPY OF EMPEROR FRANZ JOSEPH I. A very fine copy with a distinguished provenance of this magnificent work praised as "ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOKS OF ITS ERA" (Fine Bird Books) and "A RARE, BEAUTIFUL, AND AMBITIOUS WORK" (Mengel). The plates have been described as "little less than hand illuminated engravings." As Anker points out the "colors 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 colors; in this respect they are among the best color prints found in ornithology." The work was issued in 32 parts over 26 months and is divided into 10 sections or sub-sections, the general title being taken from the half-titles. The plates were etched by Audebert from his own designs and those of the best "peintres de Paris et de Londres." Louis Bouquet assisted with the colouring, and Langlois with the printing in oil-colors. The process used in the printing of the plates was invented by Audebert and involved the use of pin-hole registration marks which are visible at opposing corners of many of the plates. The text is largely by Vieillot who continued the work using Audebert's notes after the latter's death in 1800. Anker 14; Fine Bird Books p. 73; Mengel 93; Nissen IVB 47; Zimmer p. 17. (2)


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