14 November 2007
SHELLEY, George Ernest (1840-1910). A Monograph of the Nectariniidae, or Family of Sun-Birds. London: by the Author and printed by Taylor and Francis, 1876-1880.
4° (318 x 247mm). 121 hand-coloured lithographic plates by J. G. Keulemans, printed by M. and N. Hanhart, coloured by W. Hart. (Light spotting to title and a few pages of text.) Contemporary bordeaux morocco, elaborately gilt on spine, gilt-stamped initals V.D.S. surmounted by a Marquis coronet on both covers, gilt edges (slightly rubbed). Provenance: V.D.S. (armorial initials on covers) -- Sir Anthony Eden Earl of Avon (armorial bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of a work issued in 12 parts and limited to 250 copies. Shelley acknowledges the importance of Keuleman's specialist knowledge in his preface: "The illustrations which form such an important portion of my Monograph, have all been executed by Mr. Keulemans, whose name is sufficient guarantee for the accuracy of the details and for high artistic skill. The latter is rendered perhaps more striking from his being acquainted with this family of birds in their native haunts; and his notes upon the sun-birds inhabiting Prince's Island have been incorprated in my work." Fine Bird Books p. 108; Nissen IVB 873; Zimmer p. 588.
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