SHARPE, RICHARD BOWDLER. Monograph of the Paradiseidae, or Birds of Paradise, and Ptilonorhynchidae, or Bower-Birds. London: Henry Sotheran 1891-1898. 2 vols., folio, 541 x 354 mm. (21 3/8 x 14¼ in.), red morocco gilt, turn-ins gilt, g.e., by the McNamee Bindery, Cambridge [Mass.], bound circa 1920-1930, minor rubbing to corners and joints, vol. 1 joints cracked at head and tail, very faint marginal spotting to plate 13 in vol. 1, occasional light foxing to text. FIRST AND ONLY EDITION, 79 finely colored lithographed plates by and after John Gould, W. Hart and John Gerrard Keulemans (probably colored at the time of binding), printed by Mintern Brothers, 9 halftone illustrations in text. Ayer/Zimmer, pp. 581-2; Fine Bird Books, p. 107); McGill/Wood, p. 565; Nissen IVB 865; Sauer, p. 338.
"The last of the fine bird books" (Fine Bird Books), "an excellent monograph of all known species of these families and birds" (Ayer/Zimmer), essentially a continuation of Gould's Birds of New Guinea (1875-1888). In the preface to that work, which Sharpe completed after Gould's death in 1881, Sharpe appealed to subscribers to support a continuation of the work which would be devoted exclusively to the "beautiful new Birds of Paradise... so that the Avifauna of Papuasia may be completely illustrated". The first part of the Paradiseidae appeared only three years later; although 32 of the plates were printed from the stones used in the Birds of New Guinea, "a great number of species are here figured for the first time" (Sharpe's Preface). (2)