JONES, Howard Edward (1853-1945). Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Circleville, Ohio: Robert Clarke & Co. [text] and The Krebs Lithographing Co. [plates] for Howard Jones et al., -1886.
23 parts bound in one volume, 4° (430 x 390mm). 68 hand-coloured lithographic plates by and after Genevieve Jones, Eliza J. Shulze, and Virginia E. Jones, coloured by Genevieve Jones, Eliza J. Shulze, Virginia E. Jones, Nellie D. Jacob, Kate Gephart, and Josephine Klippart, paper guards, plates LV and LVI misnumbered but corrected by hand. With fly-title, subscribers' list, and indices. (Some variable light spotting, principally affecting text leaves, 2 plates trimmed touching image, a few plates slightly creased.) Contemporary brown morocco gilt by Morris, Baltimore, borders of dog-tooth rolls enclosing double fillets, panelled in gilt and blind, gilt turn-ins and moiré endleaves, spine gilt in compartments, top edge gilt, others uncut (some rubbing and scuffing, repaired tears to flyleaves causing small loss at end, rebacked retaining original spine).
Provenance: Mrs M.B. Radcliffe, Circleville, Ohio (original subscriber) -- Howard Jones (typed note signed by Jones, 1 December 1923 pasted onto flyleaf: '[This copy] was issued in parts to Mrs. M.B. Radcliffe [and] was never owned by anyone else ... until I secured it by purchase ... The parts were bound in Baltimore by Mr. Morris, binder for the Congressional library'; sold to:) -- Mr Kenyon jr (manuscript note signed by Jones on title, recording the sale of the work to Kenyon 'a fellow lover of nature', on 13 December 1923 for $500) -- [sale, Sotheby's Los Angeles, 23 June 1974, lot 459, $19,000] -- Sir Giles Loder Bt (1914-1999, and by descent).
FIRST EDITION, BOUND UP FROM THE PARTS. THE LODER COPY, ONE OF 35 COLOURED SUBSCRIBER'S COPIES, WITH TWO NOTES BY THE AUTHOR ON ITS PROVENANCE: 'There has been nothing since Audubon in the way of pictorial illustrations of American ornithology to compare with the present work nothing to claim an equal degree of artistic skill or ornithological accuracy' (Elliott Coues, a subscriber himself, quoted by Wood). This work was a collaborative venture by members of the Jones family of Circleville, Ohio: Genevieve Jones saw an exhibition of paintings for Audubon's Birds of America at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, and wished to create a companion volume which would detail the nests and eggs of the species depicted and described by Audubon. However, her father dissuaded her, on the grounds that it would be a most laborious and expensive undertaking, and suggested that she should limit her scope to the 130 species which nested in Ohio. Genevieve's father provided the financial backing for the project, her brother Howard gathered the nests and eggs and wrote the text, and Genevieve and her friend Eliza J. Shulze prepared the illustrations. A prospectus was issued and 39 copies were subscribed for (all but 4 coloured); amongst the subscribers were the ornithologist Elliott Coues, ex-President Rutherford B. Hayes, and the Smithsonian Institute. However, Genevieve was stricken with typhoid fever, after only 15 illustrations had been finished, and died shortly afterwards in 1879, aged 32. It was decided to continue publication as a memorial to Genevieve (to whose memory the work is dedicated), and her mother Virginia took on the responsibility for the illustrations, together with other collaborators. The work was widely acclaimed on completion, and it is thought that a further 51 copies were produced, the majority with uncoloured plates, to meet the subsequent demand. Many copies are now held by institutions, and COMPLETE COLOURED COPIES OF THE WORK ARE OF GREAT RARITY AT AUCTION; only 5 of the 35 (including this copy) are recorded in Anglo-American auction records since 1900. BM(NH) II, p. 940; Fine Bird Books p. 109; Nissen IVB 480 (not calling for subscribers' list or indices); Wood p. 410; Zimmer p. 339 (lacking subscribers' list and indices).