GRAY, John Edward (1800-1875). Gleanings from the Menagerie and Aviary at Knowsley Hall. Knowsley: [printed for private distribution], 1846.
Large 2 (555 x 367mm). 17 fine hand-coloured lithographic plates after Edward Lear, 16 by J. W. Moore, one by D. Mitchell, printed by Hullmandel and Walton, coloured by Bayfield. (Some marginal soiling to a few plates, text leaves lightly browned.) Modern green morocco by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, portion of the original green cloth portofolio with gilt title preserved on front pastedown, gilt edges.
Edward Lear's fine drawings of the menagerie at Knowsley near Liverpool were commissioned by Edward Smith Stanley, 13th Earl of Derby (1775-1851). Lear first came to Knowsley in the summer of 1832 as a young man of 20, and his time there was one of the happiest of his life; the drawings and rhymes he produced for the Stanley children were later to become his Nonsense books. The 'Stanley Crane', illustrated on plate 14, was named after Lear's patron. All the plates, which include 9 birds, were unusual in being drawn from life. J. E. Gray of the British Museum provided descriptions of the species. Anker 189; Fine Bird Books p. 79; Nissen IVB 392; Wood p. 368; Zimmer p. 273.