MATHEWS, Gregory Macalister (1876-1949). The Birds of Australia. London: Witherby & Co. [vol. I, pt 1-vol. VIII, part 4 and 'Supplement' 1] and H.F. & G. Witherby [vol. VIII, pt 5-vol. XII, pt. 10 and 'Supplement' 2-5], 1910-1927.
80 parts [including the 5-part 'Supplement'], 4° (355 x 255mm.). 600 hand-coloured lithographic plates by and after J.G. Keulemans, H. Grönvold, R. Green, H. Goodchild, and G.E. Lodge, and one half-tone plate, illustrations, some full-page. Half-titles, titles in red and black. (Occasional light spotting, variable light browning, some light offsetting from plates onto text.) Original printed wrappers (some light chipping, tearing, and creasing causing small losses, some spines a little faded, occasional light dampstaining affecting margins of first and last leaves of some parts). Provenance: Sir Herbrand Arthur Russell, 11th Duke of Bedford (1858-1940, and by descent; inscriptions on upper wrappers 'Bedford' or 'B').
FIRST EDITION, NO. 10 OF AN EDITION LIMITED TO 225 COPIES, IN THE ORIGINAL PARTS. 'THE LATEST AND MOST COMPREHENSIVE SYSTEMATIC TREATISE ON AUSTRALIAN BIRDS. The 12 volumes ... are profusely illustrated by beautiful hand-coloured plates' (Wood). Mathews' comprehensive conspectus of Australian avifauna was based on John Gould's The Birds of Australia (London: 1840-1869, cf. lot 31), and illustrates some 100 species not given by Gould. The 5-part supplement comprises a 'Check List of the Birds of Australia' in 3 parts, and a 'Bibliography of the Birds of Australia' in 2 parts. RARE IN THE ORIGINAL PARTS; only one copy bound in the original wrappers is recorded at auction since 1975. Anker 328; Nissen IVB 605; Whittell pp.490-492; Wood p.454; Zimmer pp.419-421 (publication not completed). (80)