The Birds of Great Britain.

Eur 85,000 / USD 93,500
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London, Taylor and Francis by the Author, [1862] - 1873. 5 volumes. Folio (545 x 370mm). With 367 fine hand-coloured lithographed plates, many heightened with gum-arabic, after John Gould, Joseph Wolf, H.C. Richter and W. Hart. Contemporary green full morocco, richly gilt decorated spines in 6 compartments, sides with gilt borders, gilt edges.

A fine and beautifully bound copy of the most splendid work on the birds of Great Britain

First edition. A fine and beautifully bound copy of the most splendid work on the birds of Great Britain."The most popular of all Gould's works is always likely to be the 'Birds of Great Britain'" (Fine Bird Books p. 29). The work had almost 500 subscribers and 'Gould was especially proud of this work on the birds of his native land. As a 'novelty' he included quite a few drawings with the figures of young birds. As would be expected, there were more subscribers for this set than any other...'(Sauer p. 74).
"However, Gould's 'Birds of Great Britain', ... did add a great deal to our knowledge of British birds, besides being a more complete set of pictures of our native birds than previously printed. Furthermore, for the first time we have a lot of chicks, eggs and nests depicted. This title is outstanding for the attention paid to the young of the species. Gould had reached high and low for specimens of the nestlings of rare species and their nests. Wherever possible, drawings were done from freshly killed specimens. The result is that this book has much more lively birds than in Gould's previous folios, and there is much more freedom in showing the birds in different attitudes. Gould did the sketches himself, Hart and Richter did the full-scale water-colours and then the two lithographers drew the patterns on the stone... The illustrations show Gould's work at his best and it demonstated the work of all his artists and lithographers except Lear and Mrs. Gould. Lord Lilford, when preparing a similar work, fifteen years later, wrote of Gould's book, 'For really beautiful and correct illustrations of British birds, you will find Gould's great work on that special subject in the library, but the books are so large that you will require a boy to help you carry them from the house' (Jackson pp. 51-52).

Fine Bird Book p. 78; Nissen IVB, 372; Sauer 23.