JOHN GOULD (1804-1881)
A Monograph of the Ramphastidae, or Family of Toucans. London: Taylor and Francis for the Author, -1854. Large 2 (546 x 368mm). 51 lithographic plates signed by Gould & Richter, coloured in a later hand, and one uncoloured lithographic plate by and after G. Scharf, printed by Hullmandel & Walton. WITH THE 33 HAND-COLOURED PLATES FROM THE FIRST EDITION, 10 SIGNED BY EDWARD LEAR, the others by John and Elizabeth Gould, all printed by Charles Hullmandel, bound in at end. (Lacking 2 preliminary leaves, spotting to text leaf describing "Andigena Laminirostris/Laminated Hill Toucan", some page edges slightly browned.) Contemporary dark green morocco gilt, yellow endpapers, gilt edge (neatly rebacked, inner hinges strengthened, endleaves replaced).
THE SECOND EDITION OF GOULD'S FIRST MONOGRAPH, EXTRA-ILLUSTRATED WITH THE PLATES FROM THE FIRST EDITION OF 1833-35. The uncoloured plate accompanies Richard Owen's text on the anatomy of the toucan, written especially for the work. Gould liked to regard the second edition as a new work, both in terms of the number of new species he describes and because, as a result of these discoveries, he proposes a new division of the group into six genera, rather than the original two. The toucan family is limited to Mexico, Central and South America and some West Indian islands. The latin name Burhynchus or Ramphestes (in reference to the size of the beak) was suggested by Conrad Gesner (Icones Avium, 1560, p.130), and Aldrovandus's corrupted form of the latter (Ramphastos) was adopted by Linnaeus. Lear's toucans with their enormous bills and absurdly gleeful expressions are regarded as among the best of his zoological drawings. He was not credited, and in the second edition his name was obliterated from the plates, and substituted by the names of Gould & Richter (see Peter Levi, Edward Lear, 1995, pp. 40-41). Anker 170; Fine Bird Books (1990) p. 77; Nissen IVB 378; Sauer 19; Zimmer p. 259.