DESMAREST, Anselm Gaëtan (1784-1838). Histoire naturelle des tangaras, des manakins et des todiers. Paris: Garnery & Delachaussée, an XIII 1805[-1807].
2o (557 x 365 mm). 72 color-printed and hand-finished etched plates after Madame Knip (Pauline Decourcelles) by Grimilliet, printed by Roussett, each bearing the artist's, etcher's and printer's imprint (occasional pale foxing on plates and guards, several plates with marginal dampstaining, 5 with overall pale foxing, one with inky fingerprints). Contemporary French red roan gilt, original printed paper wrapper to the first livraison inset on the covers, smooth spine gilt-lettered and -decorated, uncut (spine repaired at ends and with some retouching, corners bumped, some other light rubbing and wear).
FIRST EDITION of the first bird book illustrated by Mme Knip. Devoted to the American Tangaras and allied genera, Desmarest's volume is one of the earliest folio monographs devoted to a single group of birds. The work originally appeared in twelve livraisons, with four appearing in 1805, six in 1806 and the remaining two in 1807. Various states of the plates were issued: with the supporting branches printed in color and the plates colored by hand; with the branches printed in black and white and the plates colored by hand; and with the plates printed entirely in black and white. Additionally, the plates were issued variously with and without the names of artist, etcher and printer. The present copy belongs to the deluxe issue, with the branches color-printed in green and brown and the figures of the birds richly hand-finished. Each plate bears the name of its three co-creators. A TALL, UNCUT COPY.
Ayer/Zimmer, p.167; Copenhagen/Anker 116; Fine Bird Books, p.70; McGill/Wood, p.316; Nissen IVB 238.