Gould, John | A very fine, inscribed copy
A Monograph of Trochilidae or Family of Humming Birds. London: the author, [1849-]1861; Supplement. London: Henry Sotheran & Co., [1880-]1887
6 volumes, folio (540 x 360 mm). 418 hand-coloured lithographed plates by and after J. Gould, H.C. Richter and W. Hart, printed by Hullmadel & Watson; a very fine copy with only spotting to fore-edges of Supplement and third volumes, with some scattered faint spots in margins of 3 plates of the former and with the gilt-heightened colors unusually full and bright. Contemporary English dark green morocco gilt extra; unrepaired and unrubbed.
Inscribed by Gould in 1862 noting the present is "a particularly fine copy."
"The Trochilidae of Gould is his masterpiece, and must ever remain a feast of beauty and a source of wonder'' (Fine Bird Books, p.29). The work was issued in thirty parts, including the Supplement, the last four parts being published after Gould's death with R. Bowdler Sharpe responsible for the text. The total number of species described was about 482. The birds are often shown in flight, darting or hovering among flowers in order to bring out every aspects of their plumage. To reproduce the iridescence of the feathers Gould used pure gold leaf over-painted with transparent oil colours and varnish. Gould's own remarkable collection of 1500 mounted humming birds was exhibited in the Zoological Gardens, Regent's Park, during the Great Exhibition of 1851. It attracted 75,000 visitors, including Queen Victoria, who recorded in her diary: ''It is impossible to imagine anything so lovely as these little Humming Birds, their variety, and the extraordinary brilliance of their colours.''
A lovely example.
Alexander Lawson Duncan (booklabel)
Anker 177, 182; Ayer 258, 263; Fine Bird Books 102; McGill/Wood 365; Nissen IVB 380; Sauer 16, 29
Condition as described in catalogue entry.
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