A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, and of some other Rare and Undescribed Animals, Quadrupedes, Reptiles, Fishes, Insects, &c.

Eur 25,000 / USD 27,500
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London, for the Author, (1739-), 1743-1751. 4 volumes. 4to (295 x 235mm). With handcoloured engraved frontispiece, 1 engraved portrait, and 210 beautifully handcoloured engraved plates (and:) IDEM. Gleanings of Natural History, exhibiting figures of Quadrupeds, Birds, Insects, Plants, &c. London, for the Author, 1758-1764. 3 volumes. 4to (295 x 235mm). With 1 engraved portrait of Edwards and 152 beautifully handcoloured engraved plates. Contemporary calf, richly gilt spines with red end green gilt lettered labels, sides with gilt borders (3 volumes head or foot of spines a bit shaved).

one of the most beautiful bird books of this period

First edition. A superb uniformly bound copy and a very well preserved set with very fine contemporary colouring of one of the most beautiful bird books of this period. "Though, in a sense, two books, these are now considered as one and either must rank as imperfect without the other ... At its date of issue, the 'Natural History' and 'Gleanings' was one of the most important of all Bird Books, both as a Fine Bird Book and as a work of Ornithology. It is still high on each list" (Fine Bird Books). The plates were drawn and etched by Edwards, and a number of sets coloured by him. All but 45 of the plates are devoted to birds, of which 38 depict parrots. The text is in English and French.

Fine Bird Books, p. 73; Nissen IVB, 286.