ELLIOT, Daniel Giraud (1835-1915). A Monograph of the Pittidae or Family of Ant Thrushes. New York: D. Appleton, 1861-1863.
Large 2 (570 x 360mm). 31 fine hand-coloured lithographic plates, the majority after Elliot, 3 after Oudart, 2 after Maubert and Mesnel, by C. F. Tholey, printed by Bowen and Co., Philadelphia. 'To the binder' slip tipped into the final part. (Light offsetting to some plates and text, some browning of text in part III.) Original printed boards (rebacked in green morocco), black morocco-backed slipcase, spine lettered and decorated in gilt. Provenance: New York Historical Society (inscription on covers of the final two parts).
FIRST EDITION IN ORIGINAL PARTS OF THIS RARE MONOGRAPH. Parts I, III-IV, and VII include a title, while Parts II and V-VI were evidently issued without a title page. As he states in the preface, Elliot's chosen illustrator was Paul Louis Oudart 'of Paris'. However, Oudart died after completing just three plates, and left without an illustrator in America whom he could work with the author undertook the task himself. The result is described by Sitwell as 'of a delightful, rather primitive character', while the hand-colouring of the plates has a more pastel-like quality than that of later monographs. The Pittidae, birds of the Indian Archipelago, charmed Elliot by their 'beautiful and varied plumage'. Fine Bird Books p. 74 (**); Nissen IVB 292.