Paris, Imprimerie Royale, 1770-1785. 18 volumes in 18. Large 12mo (18.0 x 10.5 cm). Text with 264 engraved plates. Uniform contemporary half calf over speckled boards. Spines with five raised, gilt-ornamented bands; compartments with gilt floral patterns and two morocco labels in red or brown (short title) and black (part number).
This is the complete bird section (volumes 14-31), usually found separately, of Buffon's Histoire Naturelle, générale et particulière, published by the Imprimerie Royale from 1749 to 1804 in 44 volumes. Nissen only quotes 262 plates. The plates are after De Sève and depict the birds in their natural surroundings including nice architectural design. Some light shelfwear, one spine label with some loss; some slight foxing in the text, plates clean. The last two volumes, published four years after volume 16, in a slightly different binding (see pictures). A nice set in beautiful, contemporary, almost uniform, bindings. Nissen IVB, 160; Ronsil 413.