14 June 2006
Property from a Louisiana Corporate Collection
LILFORD, Thomas Littleton Powys, Fourth Baron (1833-1896). Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Islands. London: R. H. Porter [printed by Taylor and Francis], 1891-1897-.
7 volumes, 8o (248 x 170mm). Photogravure portrait frontispiece, 421 plates after A. Thorburn (260), J. G. Keulemans (125), G. E. Lodge and W. Foster, the large majority chromolithographs printed by W. Greve, Berlin, a smaller proportion hand-colored lithographs, plates and text on guards. Bound by the publisher in green half morocco and marbled boards, top edges gilt (spines lightly sunned, some rubbing to extremities). Provenance: Louise Wakeman, Newport (engraved bookplate).
FINE COPY of the second (and best) edition, which was limited to 450 copies and like the first issued in 36 parts, part 1 being published April 1891. The issue was so accelerated that part 28 of the second edition appeared simultaneously with part 28 of the first; the remaining parts of both editions appeared together, though they were differently priced, the first at 9s. 6d. per part, the second at 12s 6d. Mullens and Swann observe that parts 7-17 were reprinted, and some of the plates 'much improved'. The final 3 parts to the work were written by Osbert Salvin following Lord Lilford's death. This was Thorburn's first major commission. "The plates are considered to be some of the best colored pictures of birds ever produced for a book" (Jackson, Bird Illustrators). Anker 308; Fine Bird Books, p. 91; Mullens and Swann p. 354; Nissen IVB 563; Wood p. 436; Zimmer p. 399. (7)
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