ANTOINETTE PAULINE JACQUELINE KNIP (1781-1851), COENRAAD JACOB TEMMINCK (1778-1858) and FLORENT PRèVOST
Les Pigeons. Paris: vol.I: l'imprimerie de Mame for Mme. Knip and Garneray, (vol.II: Firmin Didot Frères for Mme. Knip and Bellizard, Dufour & Co.), [1809-]1811-[1838-1843]. 2 volumes, 2° (522 x 344mm). Half-titles. 147 fine coloured plates after Knip, those in vol.I avant-lettre, etched by César Macret, all printed in colours and finished by hand, 8 of those in vol.II etched by Dequevauviller or Guyard, printed in colours and finished by hand, the remaining 54 are hand-coloured lithographs by P.Bineteau. (Some spotting, a few plates in vol.II slightly browned.) Mid-19th century green morocco gilt, covers with 11 fillet border, spine in seven compartments with double raised bands, gilt turn-ins, g.e. (extremities lightly scuffed). Provenance: Christopher Turnor (b.1810, Stoke Rochford, Lincolnshire, armorial bookplate).
FIRST EDITION, THIS COPY WITH AN UNRECORDED ISSUE OF VOLUME I AND THE VOLUME II "SAID TO BE PROBABLY THE RAREST ITEM IN THE WHOLE OF ORNITHOLOGICAL LITERATURE" (WOOD), CONTAINING "AMONG THE FINEST OF ALL BIRD PLATES (Fine Bird Books). Both Ronsil and Brunet mention issues (of both vols.I and II) with the plates in coloured and black-and-white states, but no mention is made in any of the standard bibliographies of an avant-lettre issue of volume I. The subjects of the plates are identified in pencil at the foot of each, with most numbered in ink at the head. The Godman copy (sale Sothebys 1 February 1984 lot 33) included a number of 'proof' plates in volume II, some of which were apparently avant-lettre.
Both volumes were issued in 15 parts. The first volume was to have been called Histoire naturelle générale des Pigeons and was being issued under the control of Temminck, at the time of the issuing of the ninth part Madame Knip apparently appropriated the work, issued a new title and made some alterations. The second volume, issued under Madame Knip's control, has text by Prevost.
Anker 261; Brunet V.694; Fine Bird Books p.86; Nissen IVB 511; Ronsil 2890 and cf.2891; Wood p.420; Zimmer pp.356. (2)