DRESSER, Henry Eeles (1838-1915). A Monograph of the Meropidae; or Family of the Bee-Eaters. London: published by the author [printed by Taylor and Francis], 1884-1886.
Large 4 (381 x 281mm). Wood-engraved title vignette, 34 hand-coloured lithographic plates by and after J. G. Keulemans. (Light spotting.) Green half morocco by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, spine in compartments with raised bands lettered in gilt, t.e.g., others uncut (extremities a little rubbed, lower corners bumped), original blue wrappers bound in.
Written after the completion of Dresser's Birds of Europe and issued in 5 parts between May 1884 and March 1886, this is a monograph on an exotic and gregarious species breeding in holes or river banks. It is noted in the preface that 'all the Bee-eaters without exception lay pure white glossy eggs,' and that they are predominant in Ethiopia, which is inhabited by no less than twenty-one of the thirty-one species identified. Dresser included introductory notes on the anatomy and osteology by Frank E. Beddard, but the most striking feature of the work is the superb quality of Keulemans' hand-coloured plates. Fine Bird Books p. 72; Nissen IVB 269; Wood p. 324; Zimmer p. 178.