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 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