Elementa ornithologica iconibus vivis coloribus expressis illustrata.
Item ID 71690
Regensburg, Weiß, 1774. 4to (25.7 x 21.3 cm). Title with large copper-engraved allegorical vignette; [vi], [xxxviii], [v] pp.; 70 finely engraved and contemporary hand-coloured plates with unnumbered explanatory text leaves. Contemporary black marbled boards. Spine with seven gilt lines. Edges red. A very rare contemporarily hand-coloured copy of the first and most important ornithological work by the German naturalist Jakob Christian Schaeffer - or Schäffer - (1718-1790). It is divided in four sections, namely: De avium facie et structura externa , with the first 16 plates, depicting a comparative external anatomy (bird's heads and beaks, feet and claws); De avium classibus et ordinibus; Tabulae generum characteristicae . The others plates belong to the fourth and last section, Genera avium in Germaniae praecipue Bavaria et Palatinatu circa Ratisbonam habitantium, nidificantium et migrantium . This section on the birds of Bavaria, Palatinate (Pfalz) and Regensburg in particular, contains beautiful full-bodied illustrations birds from southern Germany, and - often - their tongues, which Schaeffer considered to be of special taxonomical importance. In 1779 a second edition, with a slightly different title, was issued. This, however, is the first edition. Very slight rubbing to the board edges, skilful repair to the spine and lower gutter of the first few leaves; otherwise an excellent clean, unmarked copy, with the colouring bright and accurate. Anker, 439 (2nd edition only); Nissen IVB, 822; Sitwell, p. 138; Zimmer, pp. 550-551. A very rare contemporarily hand-coloured copy