GOULD, John (1804-1881). The Birds of Great Britain. London: Taylor and Francis for the Author, -1873.
5 volumes, large 2° (550 x 375mm). 5pp. subscribers' list. 367 FINE HAND-COLOURED LITHOGRAPHIC PLATES, most heightened with gum-arabic, by Gould, Henry Constantine Richter, Joseph Wolf and William Hart, printed by Walter or Walter & Cohn, 2 wood-engraved illustrations. (Occasional light offsetting of plates onto text.) Contemporary green morocco gilt, g.e. (slightly rubbed). Provenance: Bryan Cooper, Markree Castle, co. Sligo (bookplate, dated 1913).
FIRST EDITION. A fine copy of "the most sumptuous and costly of the British bird books" (Mullens & Swann). Gould was especially proud of this work. The text is, of course, longer than in any of his other works and the illustrations, many of them prepared from freshly killed specimens, include many more depictions of chicks, nests and eggs. Wolf, who drew 57 of the plates, had accompanied Gould on an ornithological tour of Scandinavia in 1856, and was responsible for persuading Gould and Richter to adopt a livelier treatment of the illustrations. Sauer 23; Zimmer p.261; Fine Bird Books p.78; Wood p.365; Nissen IVB 372. (5)