EDWARDS, George (1694-1773). A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, and of Some Other Rare and Undescribed Animals. London: the author, 1743-1747-1750-1751.
4 parts bound in 2 volumes. 310 hand-coloured etched plates and one plain etched plate of the 'Samoyed' in duplicate, by and after Edwards, woodcut head- and tailpieces and initials. French general titles with engraved vignettes by Johann Sebastian Müller and English letterpress part-titles. Text in English only. (Lacking the hand-coloured etched frontispiece, plates 179 and 180 together with the accompanying text leaves heavily spotted, last leaf of text and 2 leaves of index to part 1 lightly spotted.)
EDWARDS, George (1694-1773). Gleanings of Natural History, Exhibiting Figures of Quadrupeds, Birds, Insects, Plants, &c. London: the author, 1758-1760-.
3 parts bound in 2 volumes. 152 hand-coloured etched plates, by and after Edwards et al., letterpress English and French general title and part-titles. Text in English and French in double columns, translated by J. du Plessis and Edmond Barker. (Lacking the engraved portrait of the author, some very light spotting and offsetting throughout.)
Together 4 volumes. 4° (292 x 230mm). Uniformly bound in contemporary red straight-grained morocco, gilt, gilt edges (lightly rubbed at extremities). Provenance: George Savile Foljambe (bookplate).
HANDSOME SET OF THE FIRST EDITION, first issue of the english and french texts of one of the most important eighteenth-century natural history works. 'At its date of issue, the Natural History and Gleanings was one of the most important of all Bird Books, both as a Fine Bird Book and a work of Ornithology. It is still high on each list' (Fine Bird Books, 1990, p.93). 'Through the influence of Sir Hans Sloane, [Edwards] was chosen Librarian to the Royal College of Physicians .... Almost immediately after he was appointed ... Edwards commenced the preparation of a series of coloured drawings of animals and birds, used later to illustrate [the present work]; for these he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Society and subsequently elected a Fellow' (Lisney p.127). Anker 124-126; Fine Bird Books (1990) p.93; Lisney 188, 192-193, 197-198, 200-201, 203, 205, 208, and 211; Mullens and Swann pp. 195-196; Nissen IVB 286-289; Zimmer pp.192-194 and 196-199.
Bound at the end of the Gleanings are: [J. ROBSON(?)] Some Memoirs of the Life and Works of George Edwards. London: for J.Robson, 1776. Crown 2°. Lacking the 4 engraved plates. Zimmer p.529. And: Carolus LINNAEUS. A Catalogue of the Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Insects... contained in Edwards's Natural History ... with their Latin names. London: for J. Robson, 1776. (4)