20 November 2003
WILLUGHBY, Francis (1635-1672). The Ornithology, edited by John Ray. London: a.c. for John Martyn, 1678.
2° (367 x 223mm). Title in red and black. 80 engraved plates, 2 letterpress tables. (Small section of blank margin of plate no. XXXI torn away, plate no. LXVII split along plate mark, lower margin of the second letterpress table browned.) Contemporary speckled calf (joints splitting, extremities rubbed, front free endpaper loose.) Provenance: early note at front and on recto of Bb1.
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of this celebrated ornithology: 'one of the fairest monuments that marks the progress of scientific natural history' (Keynes). The book was originally published in Latin in 1676; the English version, which Ray prepared, had three added treatises on 'Fowling,' 'Singing Birds' and 'Falconry' to help ensure its popularity. Keynes Ray 39; Nissen IVB 991; Norman II,1792; Wing W-2880.
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