14 November 2007
GOULD, John (1804-1881). A Monograph of the Trogonidae, or Family of Trogons. London: by the Author, 1835-38.
Parts II and III only (of 3) in one volume, large 2° (545 x 360mm). Part III with general title, dedication, preface and list of the subscribers; all the relevant text to the two parts present. 25 of 36 hand-coloured engraved plates by John and Elizabeth Gould. Contemporary green morocco gilt, with original printed upper covers of the wrappers to the two parts bound in and laid down, gilt edges. Provenance: John James Audubon (gift of the author) -- Maria R. Audubon (ex libris) -- Leonard B. Audubon (facsimile note mounted on front pastedown) -- Mr. Hallstrom.
JOHN JAMES AUDUBON'S COPY, with his signature dated "March 21st 1836. London". A seven-line note, in Audubon's hand, is written in pencil along the text facing the Trogon Narina plate: "This beats my little humming Bird which cannot fly until they are one week old. Pray show this Paragraph to Charles Watterton "Esquire" of Walton Hall". A facsimile of the typed authenticity statement signed by Leonard B. Audubon states: "The books were given to my great grandfather, John James Audubon, an American Ornithologist and Painter. Gould at the time was painting along similar lines, and they exchanged copies of their works. These particular books were sent out to Australia forty years ago, and were held in the Audubon family until this year when Mr. Hallstrom purchased the books from the great grandson of John James Audubon. 16.3.1950".
Gould illustrated many new species in this edition, he however was under no illusions that the listing could be considered in any way complete: "It would be presumptuous of me to say that this monograph is fully completed, or that I have figured every existing species: on the contrary, I have reason to believe that many will yet be discovered, both in the Old and the New World" (Preface). "The trogons are birds of moderate size: the smallest is hardly bigger than a thrush and the largest less bulky than a crow... The plumage is very remarkable and characteristic. There is not a species which has not beauty beyond most birds, and the glory of the group culminates in the quezal [sic.]" (Alfred Newton). Anker 171; Nissen IVB 381; Zimmer p. 253.
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