GOULD, John. The Birds of Great Britain. London: Taylor and Francis for the Author, -1873.
5 volumes, large 2o (539 x 360 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 (occasional light spotting, some intermittent pale offsetting). Contemporary green morocco gilt, covers with broad-ruled and -tooled ornithological borders, spine gilt, edges gilt (hinges of vols. II and IV cracked, a bit rubbed, edges a bit dry). Provenance: Helen Gould Shepard (bookplate); Jay Gould (1836-1892), American financier (Lyndhurst 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. (5)