CORY, Charles Barney (1857-1921). The Beautiful and Curious Birds of the World. Boston: published by the author for the subscribers, October 1880-1883.
8 original parts in one volume, broadsheet (648 x 516mm). Title, one page dedication to Joel Asaph Allen, 1p. list of plates, 1p. preface, 34pp. text on 20 leaves. 20 tinted lithographic plates with extensive hand-colouring, 8 by and after Joseph Smit and printed by M. & N. Hanhart, 5 printed by Forbes & Co. of Boston, 7 unsigned. (Neat repairs to the 1st, 5th, 12th, 17th and 18th plates, old creasing to two text leaves, neat repairs to three more.) Modern calf-backed cloth, original paper wrapper to part I mounted on upper cover, spine gilt in three unequal compartments with raised bands, lettered in gilt in the second, original wrappers to parts II-VIII bound at back, cloth slip-case.
A RARE WORK, LIMITED TO 200 COPIES, WITH BEAUTIFUL PLATES ON A GRAND SCALE, INCLUDING SOME OF SMIT'S FINEST WORK. Only one complete copy of this work is listed as having sold at auction in the past twenty- five years. The main appeal of this work is unashamedly visual, and it is therefore not surprising that Cory concentrates on the spectacular Birds of Paradise and their relatives the Lyre Bird and the Spotted Bower bird: 12 of the plates are of this group. The remainder include extinct birds: the Dodo, Great Auk, and the Labrador Duck as well as less obvious choices like the Kiwi, Ruff, California Condor, Black-haeded Plover and the Sacred Ibis. BM(NH) I,p.387; Fine Bird Books (1990) p.87; Nissen IVB 205; Wood p.300; Zimmer p.137.