Lot 10
  • 10

Wilson, Alexander

Estimate
6,000 - 8,000 GBP
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Description

  • American Ornithology; or, a natural history of the birds of the United States. Philadelphia: Bradford and Inskeep, 1808
  • paper
FIRST EDITION, 9 volumes, 4to (350 x 260mm.), 76 hand-coloured engraved plates, contemporary half roan, foxing and offsetting, some imprints cropped, bindings rubbed, spines somewhat worn, vol. 6 spine cracked

Provenance

Crawfurd Antrobus, engraved armorial bookplate

Literature

Anker 533; Fine Bird Books, p.114; Nissen IVB 992; Sabin 104597; Wood, p.630; Zimmer, p.679

Catalogue Note

Wilson died before the eighth volume was published, and the text of the work was completed from his notes by George Ord, who also contributed a lengthy biography of Wilson to the final volume. ''In the 76 plates included in his book, Wilson portrayed more than three-quarters of the species of birds known to have existed in America at that time. His work would be overshadowed by the monumental vision of John James Audubon by mid-century, yet the text of Wilson's book was of major scientific importance. Wilson paved the way for much of what would follow, and the excellence of his contributions brought Wilson the distinction of being considered the Father of American Ornithology'' (M.R. Norelli, American Wildlife Painting, New York, 1982).
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