7 - 8 April 2004
ROTHSCHILD, Lionel Walter, Baron (1868-1937). Extinct Birds: an attempt to unite in one volume a short account of those birds which have become extinct in historical times. London: Hutchinson, 1907.
4° (374 x 270mm). 45 chromolithographic or coloured collotype plates after Keulemans, Lodge, H. Grönvold, J. Smit and F.W. Frohawk, and 4 uncoloured plates. (Title and preliminaries slightly dust-soiled, light browning to plate and page edges.) Contemporary green half morocco (extremities rubbed). Provenance: presentation copy to C.E. Fagan (half-title inscribed to Fagan 'with the author's compliments,' 27 June 1919).
LIMITED TO 300 COPIES, THIS A PRESENTATION COPY. A useful 12-page bibliography precedes Lord Rothshild's description of the extinct and vanishing species. The strikingly-effective plates are based on written records which vary from 'the very full and even redundant literature' on some birds to the scanty information provided by 'old writers' for whom often 'the culinary property of the various birds seems to have been their principal interest.' The inescapable conclusion is that 'man and his satellites, cats, rats, dogs and pigs are the worst and in fact the only important agents of destruction of the native avifaunas wherever they go.' Anker 430; Nissen IVB 795; Wood p. 543: 'the highest authority on the subject'; Zimmer p. 533: 'the plates are excellent.'
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