LEVAILLANT, François (1753-1824). Histoire naturelle des oiseaux d’Afrique. Paris: J.J. Fuchs, 1799-1808.
LEVAILLANT, François (1753-1824). Histoire naturelle des oiseaux d’Afrique. Paris: J.J. Fuchs, 1799-1808.
LEVAILLANT, François (1753-1824). Histoire naturelle des oiseaux d’Afrique. Paris: J.J. Fuchs, 1799-1808.
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LEVAILLANT, François (1753-1824). Histoire naturelle des oiseaux d’Afrique. Paris: J.J. Fuchs, 1799-1808.

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LEVAILLANT, François (1753-1824). Histoire naturelle des oiseaux d’Afrique. Paris: J.J. Fuchs, 1799-1808.

6 volumes, 4° (352 x 258mm). Half-titles, titles with engraved vignette, 300 etched plates, including one folding, one double-page and 3 double-page and folding, all printed in colour and finished by hand, by C.M. Fessard and J.L. Perée after Johann F. L. Reinold. (Some light, mainly marginal waterstaining and spotting to plates in vols. II and V, some light browning and spotting to plates in vols. IV-VI, spotting and waterstaining to some text leaves, stain to most tissue guards.) Contemporary crimson morocco-backed marbled boards, uncut (vols. I, IV and VI repaired at head and tail of spine, vol. II chipped at head, extremities lightly rubbed). Provenance: Frederick du Cane Godman (1834-1919, ornithologist and collector, founding member of the British Ornithologists’ Union; bookplate) – G. Benson (bookplate in vols. II, IV and VI, pasted over Godman’s bookplate).

UNCUT QUARTO COPY WITH IMPRESSIVE PROVENANCE of 'by far the most important ornithological work on Africa published up to this period' (Mendelssohn). This is Levaillant’s most prominent work and is based on knowledge gained and collections he made during his journeys on the African continent. He was the son of the French consul to Dutch Guiana. Inheriting his father's love of travel, he became a naturalist of a new sort by studying and recording birds in their natural habitat. This monumental work was published in both 4° and 2° formats in 51 parts, the printing directed initially by J.B. Audebert and continued by Langlois. Anker 297; Sitwell Fine Bird Books p. 118; Mendelssohn I, 892; Nissen IVB 555; cf. Zimmer 391.





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