5 April 2016
VIEILLOT, Louis Jean Pierre (1748-1831). Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de l'Amerique Septentrionale, contenant un grand nombre d'especes decrites ou figurees pour la premiere fois. Par. Paris: Desray, 1807.
2 volumes, 2° (567 x 400 mm). Half-titles. Hand-colored engraved folding map, 131 hand-colored engraved plates. (A few pale spots and stains, titles with stamps removed and repaired, stamps on plates mostly partially removed.) Modern half morocco. Provenance: Brooklyn Public Libarary, Montague Branch (stamps on map, stamps on plates).
FIRST EDITION. “Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot was one of the more discerning ornithologists who gave particular study to female, immature, and seasonal plumage. He was born at Yvetot, France …[he] held a small clerical position in Paris during his young manhood, and at the same time devoted himself earnestly to the study of ornithology. But becoming dissatisfied with his slow progress in the scientific world he emigrated with his family…to the French Colony of the West Indian island of Santo Domingo, where he engaged in business pursuits but continued his interest in birds and collected material on West Indian species. But since he was on the proscribed list of Frenchmen wanted for military duty when the French Revolution was about to break out, he crossed over to the United States and apparently remained here for several years” (Elsa Guerdrum, “The History of American Ornithology before Audubon,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 1951, p.550). Anker 515; Ayer/Zimmer p.654-655; Nissen IVB 957; Fine Bird Books, pp.149-151; Wood p.612.
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