GOULD, John (1805-1881). The Birds of Great Britain. London: Taylor and Francis for the Author, -1873.
5 volumes, large 2o (550 x 365 mm). 5pp. subscribers' list. 367 fine hand-colored lithographed 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 (4 plates at end of vol. 4 with a few scattered foxmarks, otherwise generally clean and fresh). Contemporary green morocco gilt, spine gilt, red and brown morocco lettering-pieces, edges gilt, by Bickers and Son, London (some light scuffing, heavier on vol. 4, but generally clean). Provenance: Egerton of Tatton (bookplate); C.J. Coldeway (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION. "The most popular of all his works is always likely to be Birds of Great Britain" (Fine Bird Books, p.29). The text is more extensive and the illustrations depict many more chicks, nests, and eggs than in 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. Ayer/Zimmer, p.261; Fine Bird Books, p.78; Nissen IVB 372; Sauer 23; Wood, p.365. A VERY FINE COPY. (5)