Prideaux John Selby | Illustrations of British Ornithology, 1833-1841, 4 volumes, contemporary green half morocco
20,000 - 30,000 GBP
20,000 - 30,000 GBP
What is guaranteed?
Prideaux John Selby
Illustrations of British Ornithology. Edinburgh: W.H. Lizars, and London: Henry G. Bohn, 1833-1841
Second edition, 4 volumes, folio (plates 673 x 549 mm.) and 8vo (text 215 x 136 mm.), 2 hand-coloured engraved titles, 222 engraved plates (of which 218 hand-coloured and heightened with gum arabic), contemporary green half morocco gilt by J. Wright, gilt edges, marbled endpapers (plate volumes), first plate volume: title-page and fourth oological plate creased, marginal repair to verso of Plate I* (not affecting illustration), second plate volume: title-page creased, Plate CIII creased at inner margin (not affecting illustration), all volumes: scattered spotting, extremities slightly rubbed
This important work contains pioneering life-sized illustrations of British birds by the English ornithologist, Prideaux John Selby (1788-1867). These were drawn from Selby’s extensive personal collection of skins and coloured by artists included Daniel McNee. Selby an associate of the preeminent natural history artists of his day, including Audubon, Lear and Jardine.
He "was... gifted as an artist, and the two volumes of Illustrations of British Ornithology are outstandingly beautiful. In many people's estimation, the clarity and crispness of his figures gives them an austere beauty that is lacking in the pretty lithographs of H. L. Meyer's and John Gould's books... The cool, classical quality of Selby's plates belongs to the age of elegance and could have never been achieved by the Victorian John Gould. Selby's bird figures were the most accurate delineations of British birds to that date, and the liveliest. After so many books with small, stiff bird portraits, this new atlas with its life-size figures and more relaxed drawing was a great achievement in the long history of bird illustration" (Jackson).
Fine Bird Books, p. 107; Nissen IVB 853; Zimmer, p. 571
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