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SHARPE, Richard Bowdler. Monograph of the Paradiseidae, or Birds of Paradise, and Ptilonorhynchidae, or Bower-birds. London: Taylor and Francis (text) and Mintern Brothers (plates) for Henry Sotheran & Co., 1891-1898.

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SHARPE, Richard Bowdler. Monograph of the Paradiseidae, or Birds of Paradise, and Ptilonorhynchidae, or Bower-birds. London: Taylor and Francis (text) and Mintern Brothers (plates) for Henry Sotheran & Co., 1891-1898.

2 volumes, large 2° (546 x 360mm). Letterpress titles, preface, introduction, appendix, lists of contents and lists of plates, 79 HAND-COLOURED LITHOGRAPHIC PLATES by W. Hart after his own work and that of J. Gould and J. G. Keulemans, with later hand-colouring, occasional photographic and engraved illustrations in the text. (Slight spotting to first plate of vol. II.) Contemporary green morocco, covers with elaborate gilt borders, spine gilt in six compartments with raised bands, lettered in two, g. e. (rebacked, extremities lightly rubbed), wrappers for the original eight parts bound in at the back (creased, slightly trimmed at upper margins).

FIRST AND ONLY EDITION of "the last of the fine bird books" (Fine Bird Books p. 107). Sharpe appealed for subscribers for a monograph on "the Avifauna of Paupasia" in the preface to Gould's Birds of New Guinea, which Sharpe completed, after Gould's death in 1881. The response to his appeal must have been speedy, for only three years later, the first part of the Paradiseidae was published. Some of the plates are printed from the stones used in the Birds of New Guinea, but "a great number of the species are here figured for the first time, according to Sharpe's preface. Nissen IVB 865; Zimmer pp. 581-2; Fine Bird Books p. 107. (2)
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