BOLTON, James (d. 1799). Harmonia Ruralis; or, An essay towards a natural history of British song birds ... a new edition. London: Henry G. Bohn, 1845.
2 volumes in one, 4 (305 x 242mm). Frontispiece and 80 hand-coloured etched plates by and after Bolton, wood-engraved title vignettes. (Light creasemark to frontispiece, a few plates affected by slight spotting, quires C and D spotted and stained at margins.) Modern green half morocco, spine gilt with raised bands and repeated tool of a small bird alighting on a nest, t.e.g.
Third issue of the second edition, with new strikes from Bolton's original etched plates. Bolton was a self-taught naturalist, living near Halifax, York, who drew and etched all his own illustrations. His Harmonia Ruralis first appeared in 1794-96 in both coloured and uncoloured versions. The first issue of the second edition followed some 30 years later in 1824. The plates were re-lettered and are noted for being much more finely coloured than those of the first edition. The text includes a table compiled by Daines Barrington awarding 17 different song birds marks out of 20 on a scale of merit for 'mellowness of tone', 'sprightly notes', 'plaintive notes', 'compass' and 'execution'. Fine Bird Books p. 60; Graesse I, 478; Mullens and Swann p. 79; Nissen IVB 115; Zimmer p. 64.