Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux d'Afrique.
Paris, J.J. Fuchs/ Delachaussée, An VII (1799)-1808. 6 volumes. Large-4o (325 x 252mm). With 300 engraved plates in double state, plain and colour-printed with hand-finishing. Contemporary red morocco, spines with gilt ornaments, sides with gilt French Imperial eagle at each corner and richly gilt borders, inside dentelles, gilt edges (hinges of second volume a bit weak).
A splendidly bound copy of the rare quarto deluxe issue with the plates in two states (the ordinaryedition has only coloured plates). The work was published in 4to and in folio. The deluxe issue has far better colouring of the plates, with extensive hand-finishing, than the ordinary editions. The excellent plates are engraved by Fissart and Péree after drawings by Reinhold, and printed by Langlois, the great master of colour printing who supervised much of Redouté's best work. Levaillant's work on the birds of Africa is still important to-day as it described birds of the region for the first time and Levaillant is considered an important pioneer on African ornithology. François Levaillant (1753-1828) travelled to South Africa where he made two expeditions into the interior in 1780-1784. The first went to the Great Fish River and the second one to the Orange River. "The work, which was published in 51 parts, is Levaillant's most prominent work. It gives a comprehensive account of the birds of South Africa, based on Levaillant's personal experiences and the collections he made during his journeys in that region. The style of the text is lively, and it gives descriptions not only of birds, but also of their habits and habitats. Scientific names are not given. Althogether 284 species are dealt with, of which 71, according to the statement of the author, do not come from Africa..." (Anker 297). Levaillant also included birds from the rest of Africa. Some occasional browning and spotting as is usual with this work. Provenance: Armorial bookplate of Samuel Ryland. Fine Bird Books p. 90; Anker 297, Nissen IVB, 555.
Item nr. 9530
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