ELLIOT, Daniel Giraud. A Monograph of the Paradiseidae or Birds of Paradise. [New York]: by the author [printed by Taylor and Francis], 1873.
Large 2 (598 x 472mm). 37 lithographic plates, comprising 36 fine hand-coloured plates after Joseph Wolf by J. Smit, printed by M. and N. Hanhart, coloured by J. D. White, and one uncoloured plate of generic characters. (Occasional light soiling to margins, descriptive text to plate 2 with repaired tear at outer margin, without the directions 'To the binder' slip at end.) Contemporary brown half morocco, spine gilt in compartments, t.e.g. Provenance: A. J. Dearden, 1924 (ownership inscription); purchased 'At Godman sale' (pencil note).
A FINE COPY OF THE AUTHOR'S FIFTH ILLUSTRATED MONOGRAPH. One of the most admired bird books ever produced. Eliott regards 'brightly coloured waving plumes' as a typical characteristic rather than an indispensable feature of this beautiful species which are organised into three subfamilies, Paradiseai, containing the typical Birds of Paradise and their allies, Epimachinae, those species 'characterised by long, slender, somewhat curved bills', and Tectonarchinae, 'species which are in the habit of erecting bowers'. In the introduction, which includes a bibliography and treatment of the classification, genera and geographical distribution, he notes that of the thirty-six species included in the monograph, 'twenty-two are known to inhabit New Guinea; and of these, twelve are met with in no other part of the world.... Some species are restricted, in certain cases, to one single group of islands -- while others inhabit several situated widely apart.' The work is dedicated to Alfred Russel Wallace, to whom Elliot expresses his indebtedness 'for nearly all our information regarding the habits of many species.' Anker 131; Fine Bird Books p. 74; Nissen IVB 296; Wood p. 331; Zimmer p. 207.