GOULD, John (1804-1881) and Richard Bowdler SHARPE (1847-1909). A Monograph of the Trochilidae, or Family of Humming-Birds. London: Taylor and Francis (vols. I-V) for the Author, -1861; (Supplement) for Henry Sotheran & Co., -1887.
6 volumes (including the Supplement), large 2 (545 x 365mm). 418 fine hand-coloured lithographic plates, many highlighted in gold leaf overpainted with transparent varnish and oil colours, by Gould, Henry Constantine Richter and William Hart, printed by Hullmandel and Walton, Walter and the Mintern Brothers. (A minority of plates affected by light spotting, heavier spotting in just a few cases, text also spotted in places.) Contemporary hard-grained green morocco, ruled and lettered in gilt, gilt edges. Provenance: Joshua Clarke (armorial bookplate).
GOULD'S MASTERPIECE. 'An incomparable catalogue and compendium of beauties' (Fine Bird Books p. 29). Most of the subjects came from Gould's own collection of Humming-bird specimens, a number of which he exhibited at the Regent's Park Zoological Gardens during the Great Exhibition of 1851. The plates gave Gould the chance to display the new technique of imitating the birds' iridescent plumage by the use of brilliant metallic colouring. This is an attractively-bound copy of good size. Sauer 16 and 29; Anker 177; Fine Bird Books p. 78; Nissen IVB 380; Wood p. 365; Zimmer pp. 258 & 263-64. (5)