SHELLEY, George Ernest (1840-1910) and William Lutley SCLATER (1863-1944). The Birds of Africa, Comprising all the Species which Occur in the Ethiopian Region. London: Taylor and Francis for R.H. Porter for the author (vol. I-vol. V pt i), and for Henry Sotheran & Co (vol. V pt ii), 1896-1912.
5 volumes in 7, 8° (282 x 190mm). 57 hand-coloured lithographic plates after Henrik Grönvold, heightened with gum arabic. (Occasional light spotting and browning, principally affecting text.) Original red cloth, titled in gilt on spines, top edges gilt, others uncut, a few gatherings unopened (some fading or light marking, extremities a little rubbed, one spine with short tear at head, some volumes a little shaken or split on blocks or hinges). Provenance: Sir Frederick John Jackson F.L.S., F.Z.S., M.B.O.U. (1860-1929, pencil annotations and markings on text and one plate in his hand, vide infra) -- Paul Davis, Johannesburg (bookplates).
FIRST EDITION. F.J. JACKSON'S ANNOTATED COPY OF 'A COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF THE BIRDS OF AFRICA AND SURROUNDING ISLANDS ... Many new genera are described' (Wood p. 566). 'Vol. I contains a list of all the species known to occur in the Ethiopian Region up to the time of publication, with reference to a fine picture and to the volume and page of the catalogue of the British Museum in which the species is mentioned. Altogether 2534 forms of birds are listed in this 'Nomenclator avium Aethiopicarum', as it might be called. The remainder of the work, which contains descriptions of several new genera and species, gives a systematic account of the birds, with keys to the species and higher groups, brief characterizations of the latter, and, under the individual forms, descriptions ... and information about their geographical distribution and habits' (Anker). The work is illustrated by fine, hand-coloured lithographs after Grönvold, which are described by Christine Jackson thus: 'Each of [his] plates has most carefully executed bird portraits, usually of the pair of the species, with every detail shown ... As examples of ornithological draughtsmanship, with Grönvold working from skins, the plates are excellent' (Bird Illustrators. London: 1975, p.110). Shelley died just after the publication of the penultimate volume, and Sclater (the ornithologist son of Philip Lutley Sclater) completed the final volume, using Shelley's manuscript as a basis, but adding much new information that had come to light in the intervening years. Sir Frederick John Jackson, the former owner of this set, served for 30 years as a Colonial Service administrator in eastern Africa, in the capacities of Lieutenant-Governor in East Africa (now Kenya) and Governor of Uganda, and became an acknowledged authority on the ornithology of the area (collecting over 12,000 bird specimens, representing 774 species), and was the founder and President of the East Africa and Uganda Natural History Society. He published widely in ornithological journals and was the author of Notes on the Game Birds of Kenya and Uganda (London: 1926) and The Birds of Kenya Colony and the Uganda Protectorate (London: 1938), which was, like the present work, completed and edited by W.L. Sclater after his death. Amongst his annotations, Jackson has added 'Described by Sharpe in my name' on vol. V, p. 330 beside the reference to 'Jackson, Bull. B. O. C. xvi. p. 90' for the Laniarius alboplagatus and Shelley's statement 'This species is founded on a unique specimen, and is probably nothing but an individual variation in the direction of albinism' is glossed 'of course'. Anker 470; Fine Bird Books (1990) p. 142; Nissen IVB 874; Wood p. 566; Zimmer p. 589. (7)