17 June 2003
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
ROTHSCHILD, Lionel Walter, Baron (1868-1937). The Avifauna of Laysan and the neighbouring islands: with a complete history to date of the birds of the Hawaiian Possessions. London: R. H. Porter [printed by Taylor and Francis], 1893-1900.
2o (376 x 278mm). 83 plates comprising 55 hand-colored lithographed plates and 8 tinted lithographed plates by and after J. G. Keulemans and F. W. Frohawk, printed by Mintern Brothers, and 20 collotype plates from photographs. (Occasional pale spotting, few small marginal tears.) Contemporary cloth, morocco spine label (a bit rubbed). Provenance: David Lionel Goldsmid-Stern-Salomons (armorial bookplate).
FIRST EDITION. This important regional monograph is based on the collecting activities of Henry Palmer who was engaged by Rothschild in the Hawaiian Islands from December 1890 to August 1893. Palmer procured all the known resident land-birds and most of the sea-birds, a total yield of 1,832 specimens. Fifteen species were entirely new to science, and several birds new to the islands. Extracts from Palmer's diary on Laysan Island and a summary of his stay in the Sandwich Islands form part of the work, while one of the plates is a lithographed portrait of the orthinologist "among the frigate birds, Laysan Island." An 8-page bibliography relating to the birds of the Hawaiian Islands is also included. The work was limited to 250 copies and issued in 3 parts, the first two in 1893 and the last in 1900. Anker 429; Fine Bird Books, p.103; Nissen IVB 794; Wood, p.543; Zimmer p.532.
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