[PRINTING PLATES]. SELBY, John Prideaux. Ilustrations of British Ornithology. Edinburgh, 1821-43. 184 Fine engraved copper printing plates (of 228) by Selby, Jardine and Lizars after drawings by Selby, Mitford and Jardine. Plate sizes: 18x24, 17x22 and 11x16 inches. (Generally very good condition, few surface scratches to a few plates only.)
THE ORIGINAL PLATES FOR THE FIRST ATTEMPT TO PRODUCE A SET OF LIFE-SIZE ILLUSTRATIONS OF BRITISH BIRDS, with the most lively and accurate delineations produced to that date. The clarity and crispness of the images that Selby produced are in marked contrast to the more lush Victorian lithographs of John Gould; more austere certainly, but elegant. "After so many books with small, stiff bird portraits, this new atlas with its life-size figures and more relaxed drawing was a great achievement in the long history of bird illustration" (Jackson). Ayer/Zimmer 571. Fine Bird Books 107. Jackson, Etchings201-13. Nissen 853.