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SHELLEY, George Ernest (1840-1910). The Birds of Africa, comprising all the species which occur in the Ethiopian region. Volume V, Part II completed and edited by W. L. Sclater. London: R. H. Porter for the author, 1896-1906, and Henry Sotheran & Co., 1912 (Vol. V, Part II).
SHELLEY, George Ernest (1840-1910). The Birds of Africa, comprising all the species which occur in the Ethiopian region. Volume V, Part II completed and edited by W. L. Sclater. London: R. H. Porter for the author, 1896-1906, and Henry Sotheran & Co., 1912 (Vol. V, Part II).

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SHELLEY, George Ernest (1840-1910). The Birds of Africa, comprising all the species which occur in the Ethiopian region. Volume V, Part II completed and edited by W. L. Sclater. London: R. H. Porter for the author, 1896-1906, and Henry Sotheran & Co., 1912 (Vol. V, Part II).

5 volumes in 7, 8vo (279 x 187 mm). 57 hand-colored lithographic plates after Henrik Grönvold. (Very occasional light marginal spotting.) Publisher’s red cloth, spines lettered in gold, top edges gilt, others uncut. Provenance: Bolton Public Libraries (marginal inkstamps on a few text leaves).

FIRST EDITION of Shelley’s work which lists 2534 forms of birds, including several new species. It was issued in eight parts, the first being a classification of all the species known to occur in the Ethiopian region. Henrik Grönvold, a Danish naturalist, was among the last natural history artists to publish lithographs. He left Denmark to move to the United States in 1892; he stopped in London where he began working at the Natural History Museum preparing anatomical specimens. His work for The Birds of Africa include illustrations of many previously unillustrated specimens of birds. Shelley completed the work through the first part of volume V of The Birds of Africa, but then suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed until his death in 1910, when his widow arranged for William Lutley Sclater to continue the work. Although Sclater states in his preface that "It is hoped that the work may be completed in four or five more volumes," no further volumes of the work were ever issued. Anker/Copenhagen 470; Ayer/Zimmer p. 589; Fine Bird Books p. 108; Nissen IVB 874.

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