SUSEMIHL, Johann Conrad, and others (illustrators). -- Moritz Balthasar BORKHAUSEN and others (editors). Teutsche Ornithologie oder Naturgeschichte aller Vögel Teutschlands in naturgetreuen Abbildungen und Beschreibungen. Darmstadt: Herausgeber, [1800-1811].
21 (of 22) parts bound in one volume, 2° (476 x 330mm). Grey sugar paper upper wrapper to the XXIst part inlaid to size and bound as a title leaf, 126 etched and engraved plates, printed in colours and finished by hand, by and after J.C. Susemihl, E.E. Susemihl, H. Curtmann and E.F. Lichthammer. (Lacking the single leaf subscribers' list, occasional small repairs, the 44th plate 'Die Halbwyhe' [the second Hen-harrier image] with section of upper margin and small section of plate area neatly restored without loss to the image.) Contemporary mottled calf gilt, covers with triple fillet border, neatly rebacked to style, spine in eight compartments with raised bands, red morocco lettering-piece in the second, the others with repeat decoration in gilt, comb-marbled endpapers (corners and lower edges neatly restored).
A FINE COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION OF THIS VERY RARE ORNITHOLOGICAL WORK published as Germany's answer to the fine ornithological works being produced in France and other European countries at the time. The numerous plates of the eagles, hawks, falcons and owls are particularly spectacular. This copy is, as usual, without a title page. Even the Bradley Martin copy, which included the very rare final part (with the list of subscribers and 6 plates) was fronted by a printed wrapper (as is the present copy). Of the standard references only Zimmer mentions a printed title and the transcription given notes that the work is complete 'In XXI Hefte'. In addition, the present work is bound in the order in which the parts were issued, and conforms to the Ellis/Mengel description of the parts issue (with the exception of the subscribers' list and the original wrappers which are not present, and the 25th and 26th plates both having titles whereas only one of the Ellis/Mengel plates was titled).
'A work by which it was attempted to create a German parallel to the sumptuous ornothological works of other countries, notably of France, to which it was compared at the time ... and with which it is quite comparable on account of its beautiful plates' (Anker). The editor's original plan had been to issue four parts annually, each containing six plates with accompanying unpaginated text, in which each species was treated on a separate leaf. This allowed for the work to be issued piecemeal but, when finished, re-ordered and bound according to species and class. The plan was severely disrupted by the Napoleonic Wars, and the intervals between the issuing of the parts steadily increased. The final part in the present copy (the 21st) was issued in 1811, and it was not until 1817 that the 22nd part appeared. Unsurprisingly, a great many of the subscribers gave up waiting for the elusive 22nd part and, consequently, most copies found today are without it: of the six copies that have appeared at auction over the last twenty-five years, all but the Bradley Martin copy contained 126 plates or less. The completed work was later reissued, under a slightly different title, in 1837-1841. Anker 52; BM(NH) I, p.202; Cottrell 20; Ellis/Mengel 337; Fine Bird Books (1990) p.79; Nissen IVB 907; Wood p.250; Zimmer p.81.