JOHN GOULD (1804-1881)
A Monograph of the Trogonidae, or Family of Trogons. London: Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1858-] 1875. Large 2 (539 x 365mm). 47 fine lithographic plates, coloured in a later hand, most heightened with gum arabic, by Gould, William Hart and Henry Constantine Richter, printed by Hullmandel & Walton, Walter or Walter & Cohn. Contemporary dark green morocco gilt, yellow endpapers, g.e. (neatly rebacked, inner hinges strengthened, new front and rear blanks).
FINE COPY of the second edition, published in 4 parts, part I appearing in 1858, part II in 1869, and parts III-IV in June and September 1875. The first edition was published over a much shorter period in 1835-1838, an indication of how much fresh research went into this "new" edition for which the text was re-written and figures re-drawn with the inclusion of 12 new species. "The trogons are birds of moderate size: the smallest is hardly bigger than a thrush and the largest less bulky than a crow... Their feet are weak and of a unique structure, the second toe... being reverted, and thus the trogons stand alone, since in all other birds that have two toes before and two behind it is the outer toe that is turned backward. The plumage is very remarkable and characteristic. There is not a species which has not beauty beyond most birds, and the glory of the group culminates in the quezal [sic.]. But in others golden green and steely blue, rich crimson and tender pink, yellow varying from primrose to amber, vie with one another in vivid coloration, or contrasted ... with a warm tawny or a sombre slaty grey -- to say nothing of the delicate freckling of black and white, as minute as the markings of a moth's wing -- the whole set off by bands of white, producing an effect hardly equalled in any group" (Alfred Newton). Anker 171; Fine Bird Books (1990) p. 101; Nissen IVB 381; Sauer 21; Wood p. 365; Zimmer p. 261.