14 November 2007
LESSON, René Primevère (1794-1849). Histoire naturelle des oiseaux-mouches. Paris: Arthus Bertrand, [1829-30]. [With:] Histoire naturelle des colibris. Paris: Arthus Bertrand, [1830-32]. [And:] Les Trochilidees. Paris: Arthus Bertrand, [1832-33].
Together 5 volumes, 8° (240 x 148mm). First work: 86 engraved plates in two states. Second work: 66 engraved plates in two states. Third work: 66 engraved plates in two states, in each work one state is printed in colour and finished by hand and one in monochrome on China paper mounted. (Occasional light browning and spotting.) French citron morocco elaborately gilt on sides and spine, gilt and gauffered edges, gilt mosaic doublures. Provenance: Hon. R. Fitzgibbon of Limerick (bookplate).
LARGE PAPER COPY OF THE FIRST EDITIONS of the first and most comprehensive works on hummingbirds until Gould's great monograph started appearing twenty years later. "A fundamental classic" (Wood p.443). Lesson studied these birds in their natural habitat during an expedition on board of La Coquille from 1822 to 1825. The first two works are dedicated respectively to Mademoiselle - Louise de France, sister of the Duke of Bordeaux - and to Baron Cuvier author of Anatomie comparée. Nissen ZBI 547, 548, 549. (5)
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