19 November 2003
GOULD, John (1804-1881). The Birds of Great Britain. London: Taylor and Francis for the Author, -1873.
5 volumes, large 2° (545 x 367mm). 5-page subscribers' list, 367 hand-coloured lithographic plates, most heightened with gum-arabic, by Gould, Henry Constantine Richter, Joseph Wolf and William Hart, most lithographed by Richter and Hart, printed by Walter or Walter & Cohn, 2 wood-engraved illustrations. (Occasional light spotting or marking, very light browning at margins of text and plates, a few plates lightly browned or trimmed with minimal loss.) Late 19th/early 20th-century half green morocco gilt by Sotheran & Co., spines gilt and lettered, gilt edges (boards a little marked, extremities rubbed and scuffed). Provenance: Library of Arthur Sanderson & Sons (probably purchased by Harold William Sanderson (1863-1958); ink-stamped labels tipped onto front free endpapers of vols I and III-V, typed slip tipped onto flyleaf of vol. IV headed 'Mr. H.W.S.').
FIRST EDITION. 'THE MOST POPULAR OF ALL [GOULD'S] WORKS IS ALWAYS LIKELY TO BE BIRDS OF GREAT BRITAIN' (Fine Bird Books p.40). The text is more extensive and the illustrations depict many more chicks, nests, and eggs than Gould's other works: 'there was an opportunity of greatly enriching the work by giving figures of the young of many of the species of various genera -- a thing hitherto almost entirely neglected by authors' (Gould, writing in the preface to the present work). Wolf, who drew 57 of the plates and accompanied Gould on an ornithological tour of Scandinavia in 1856, was responsible for persuading Gould and Richter to adopt a livelier treatment of the subject matter. Fine Bird Books (1990) p.102; Nissen IVB 372; Sauer 23; Wood p.365; Zimmer p.261. (5)
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