Author Temminck, C. J. and [G. M. J.] Meiffren Laugier de Chartrouse Nouveau recueil de planches coloriées d'oiseaux, pour servir de suite et de complément aux planches enluminées de Buffon, édition in-folio et in-4o de l'Imprimerie royale, 1770.
Published [1820]-1838-[1839]
Item ID 71750
(Excl. 9% VAT)
Paris, F. G. Levrault, [1820]-1838-[1839]. In five volumes. Royal folio (54.5 x 35.4 cm). Titles, half-titles, dedication to Cuvier, Table méthodique; 600 hand-coloured engraved plates [I: 1-117; II: 118-236; III: 237-361; IV: 362-483; V: 484-600], all with unnumbered accompanying text leaves. Uniform contemporary half morocco over marbled boards. Spines with five gilt-stippled raised bands; compartments with gilt ornamental lines and title. Marbled endpapers. Top edges gilt. The rare large-paper De Luxe edition. A special copy with an original watercolour for plate 317 by Prêtre (see note end of description). A massive and amazingly illustrated contribution to ornithology by the greatest Dutch ornithologist, Coenraad Jacob Temminck (1778-1858), with some help by one of Europe's foremost private collectors of birds, the botanist, ornithologist, politician and heritage guard, Baron Guillaume Michel Jérôme Meiffren Laugier (1772-1843). This may be regarded as Temminck's magnum opus in size, in scope and in beauty. The fine illustrations are by the best natural history artists of the period, Jean Gabriel Prêtre (1768-1849) and Nicolas Huet le Jeune (1770-1830). Especially the larger illustrations by Prêtre are among the best natural history illustrations ever made. The plates have about 800 figures of birds representing 661 species. The present copy is almost twice as large as the usual 4to.-edition, the colouring being much better. Large-paper copies of the present work seem to be much rarer than the large-paper edition of Buffon's Planches Enluminées . The work is a supplement, as stated on the title to Buffon's magnum opus, Planches Enluminées . The first volume contains a Table méthodique following the index to Buffon's work in 109 pages. The Nouveau recueil surpasses Buffon's work in scientific accuracy and importance, while the plates are arguably better, more natural and more detailed. A former owner added helpful captions in light pencil to several plates bound far from the descriptive text (conform Temminck's intent). Plate 512 erroneously numbered 112; species (plate) 572 misnumbered 570 in the text. These errors were not recorded by Zimmer, who is otherwise very detailed and accurate. Slight rubbing to boards, some other signs of age, e.g., a few sections with some light to moderate spotting to the text; a few plates slightly toned, but generally very clean and bright, with absolutely brilliant colouring. Original watercolour (48.0 x 35.0 cm) signed J G Prêtre 1824 , for plate 317 of three birds (Oiseau mouche médiastin, male adulte & jeune male & femelle), all standing on a branch. A superbly executed, watercolour of an adult male, female and young stripe-breasted starthroat ( Heliomaster squamosus ), a species of hummingbird found in Brazil. Uncut; margins a bit uneven with a few small chips and fraying; pencilled annotations in an old hand (perhaps by Prêtre), otherwise very good, clean. Anker, 503; Junk, Rara , p. 72; Landwehr, 196; Nissen IVB, 932; Ronsil, 2892; Sitwell, Fine Bird Books , p. 147; Zimmer, pp. 626-628.