LESSON, R.P.

Les Trochilidées ou les Colibris et les Oiseaux-Mouches...

Eur 2,500 / USD 3,000
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Paris, A. Bertrand, (1832-33). 8vo (232 x 150mm). pp. (4), iv, 171, (1), xliii (1), with 66 very fine colour-printed engraved plates finished by hand. Contemporary gilt pictorial cloth.

The excellent plates are by Prêtre and Bévalet, the best French natural history artists of the period

A fine clean copy of the first edition. "The concluding section of Lesson's work on hummingbirds; the sections published previously are 'Histoire naturelle des oiseaux-mouches', 1829-30, and 'Histoire naturelle des colibris' 1830-32. The text consists (pp. 1-168) of a descriptive explanation of the plates, followed by a systematic survey (pp. I-XLIII) of 110 species of humming-birds. This section contains a special title-page 'Index général et synoptique des oiseaux du genre Trochilus, par R.P.Lesson..." (Anker 294). The excellent plates are by Prêtre and Bévalet, the best French natural history artists of the period. René Primevère Lesson (1794-1849) was a naturalist and explorer. He was naturalist on the 'Coquille' commanded by Duperrey with Dumont d'Urville second in command. "Lesson occupied a prominent place among French naturalist-voyagers of the period... his most important contributions were zoology. Particularly significant was his work in ornithology, especially his writings on hummingbirds and birds of paradise" (DSB). All birds described are from tropical Central and South America.

Nissen IVB, 549; Anker 294.