JOHN GOULD (1804-1881)
The Birds of Australia. Melbourne: printed in Hong Kong for the Lansdowne Press, 1975. 8 volumes, 2 (533 x 370mm). 681 chromolithographic coloured plates. Publisher's leather gilt.
Facsimile edition of Gould's masterpiece, one of 1000. Gould's interest in Australia was aroused by specimens supplied chiefly by his wife's, emigrant brothers in Australia. Gould began work on Australian birds in 1837 but it quickly became clear that for the work to be successful he would have to visit Australia himself, and so in May 1838 he and his wife set out, on what became a two year journey, for Australia. Gould explored Tasmania, New South Wales and the interior while his wife, staying with acquaintances, produced more than 600 drawings. Gould's Birds of Australia is rightly considered his major ornithological achievement. Sauer p. 256.