LEVAILLANT, Franois (1753-1824). Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis et des rolliers, suivie de celle des toucans et des barbus. Paris: chez Denn le jeune, Perlet, -1806.
2 volumes, 2 (516 x 348mm). 114 etched plates after Jaques Barraband by Bouquet, Grmilliet, and Pre, printed in colours by Langlois and Rousset and finished by hand, 2 folding, with half-titles. (Plates in vol. I dampstained, at times severely, colour offsetting onto 2 leaves of text, one folding plate torn along fold, some plates in vol. II lightly browned or spotted, some offsetting onto text, Latin names pencilled onto plates.) Contemporary half calf and marbled boards (rubbed).
This work, published in 19 parts, is regarded by Ronsil as unequalled in French ornithology. The spectactular plates of exotic birds owe much to the special gifts of Jacques Barraband (1767-1809) who turned to book illustration after training as a draughtsman at the Gobelins tapestry factory and while also working as a ceramic artist, supplying drawings to the Svres factory in 1806. Anker 304; Fine Bird Books p. 90 (***); Nissen IVB 559; Ronsil 1780; Wood p. 434; Zimmer p. 393. (2)