Lot 27
  • 27

Wilson, Alexander

4,000 - 6,000 USD
5,313 USD
bidding is closed


  • Wilson, Alexander
  • American Ornithology; or, The Natural History of the Birds of the United States. Philadelphia: Bradford & Innskeep, 1808–14
  • paper
9 vols., folio (13 5/8 x 10 5/8 in.; 346 x 270 mm). 75 (of 76) hand-colored engraved plates after Wilson by A. Lawson, G. Murray, J. G. Warnicke, and B. Tanner, list of subscribers and index; lacking plate 6, imprint of plate 63 shaved, some foxing and offsetting, vol. 6 browned . Publisher's red sheep over marbled boards; vols. 1 and 2 shaken, boards detached, text block split, other vols. quite rubbed.


Ayer/Zimmer 679; Coues 1:609; Fine Bird Books 114; Nissen, IVB 992; Reese, American Color Plate Books 3; Sabin 104597

Catalogue Note

First edition of "the first American work to use color plates to convey scientific information, and the first real combination of text and color illustration produced in the United States" (Reese). "Science would lose little, but, on the contrary, would gain much, if every scrap of pre-Wilsonian writing about United States Birds could be annihilated" (Coues).