15 June 2017
GOULD, John. An Introduction to the Birds of Australia. London: Richard and John E. Taylor for the Author, 1848.
8vo (221 x 133 mm). 134pp.; 2pp. prospectus; 6pp. list of subscribers. Original brown cloth, gilt-titled on cover (rebacked). Provenance: William H. Ince, president of the Pharmaceutical Society of London (presentation from the publisher).
FIRST EDITION OF GOULD’S SCARCE COMPANION TO ‘THE BIRDS OF AUSTRALIA. PUBLISHER’S PRESENTATION COPY, inscribed on the half-title: “William H. Ince, Esq. Presented by the author.” Gould writes in the preface: “The preface and introduction to my Birds of Australia having been set up in small type for facility of correction, I have had a limited number of copies printed in octavo form, for distribution among my scientific friends and others…”
“Gould’s enormous ornithological works were published from his house in Charlotte Street [London]; it was here that his artists and lithographers and small staff of colorists were employed; and it is probable that no house that ever existed had as many dead birds delivered on its doorstep over so long a stretch of years. Gould lived here for 40 years, from 1840 when he came back from Australia until his death in 1881. Birds were sent to him from every part of the world; and in the text accompanying his plates he so often expresses himself as being in perpetual expectation of new arrivals from collectors on far shores” (Sitwell, Fine Bird Books 29); Ayer/Zimmer 261; Nissen IVB 380.
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