Catalogue of the birds in the collection of the British Museum. Volume XVIII . Catalogue of the Picariae in the Collection of the British Museum. Scansores, containing the family Picidae.
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London, the Trustees of the British Museum, 1890. 8vo (22.1 x 14.4 cm). xv, 598, 8 pp.; 15 chromolithographed plates by Peter Smit. Original blind stamped cloth with gilt title on the spine.
Rare part of a large series, but the only volume dealing with the woodpeckers. With fine chromolithographed plates by Pierre "Peter" Smit, son of the famous Dutch bird painter Joseph Smit, and an accomplished natural history illustrator himself. "Pierre's woodpeckers have rather clearer lines than the birds drawn by his father, and they are shown in livelier attitudes" (Jackson). Edward Hargitt (1835-1895) was a Scottish ornithologist. "[He] studied art in the Royal Scottish Academy and was a fairly good painter of landscapes. These paintings yield high prices today, auctioned at Christie's. He became also an ornithologist and developed into an expert on woodpeckers. ... During later years, he prepared 1300 drawings of woodpeckers for a proposed monograph" (Wikipedia). This monograph, however, was never published. Printed notice bound in. Notice and title toned, British Museum Board Room and date stamp [16 Aug. (18)90; perhaps the true date of publication], on the title; Board Room stamp also in the lower margin of last index page, otherwise a meticulous, clean copy. C. E. Jackson (1975) Bird illustrators, p. 81; Nissen IVB, 175; Zimmer, pp. 95-98; 838.
A mint copy of one of the finest works on woodpeckers