CASSIN, JOHN. 'ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE BIRDS OF CALIFORNIA, TEXAS, OREGON, BRITISH, AND RUSSIAN AMERICA'. PHILADELPHIA: J.B. LIPPINCOTT & CO., 1856
2,000 - 3,000 USD
- 'Illustrations of the Birds of California, Texas, Oregon, British, and Russian America'. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1856
- Paper, ink, leather
8vo (10 1/4 x 6 3/4 in.; 259 x 172 mm). 50 hand-colored lithographic plates by William E. Hitchcock; a few stray spots, generally not affecting plates, minor toning. Half morocco over marbled boards, spine with raised bands in six compartments, second and fourth gilt-lettered, others with repeat gilt fleur-de-lis, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers; rebacked to style, extremities rubbed.
Anker 92; Nissen IVB 173; Zimmer 124
First edition in book form, originally issued in ten parts from 1853 to 1856. The work aimed to cover the species discovered since the appearance of Audubon's 'Birds of America'. Cassin headed an engraving and lithographing firm in Philadelphia which produced illustrations for government and scientific publications. He pursued ornithology as an amateur, giving his spare time to the Philadelphia Academy of Science which was developing the largest bird specimen collection then in existence. Cassin arranged and catalogued the 26,000 specimens, and published regular reports of the results of his research.