Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de l'Amérique Septentrionale, contenant un grand nombre d'espèces décrites ou figurées pour la première fois. Tome premier.
Item ID 71751
Paris, Desray, 1807. Folio (50.7 x 34.0 cm). Half-title, title page. iv, 90 pp., 61 finely engraved and delicately hand-coloured plates [numbered (1)-57; 2bis, 3bis, 10bis, 14bis]. Later full morocco. Spine with eight raised bands, gilt bird vignettes; boards with double gilt borders. Original printed front wrappers bound in. The rare and beautiful first edition in " Format grand in-folio sur papier vélin superfin dit Nom de Jésus ". With the first ten original wrappers, which are virtually unknown containing much information not present anywhere else and seen for the first time. For instance, the text "à commencer du 1er août 1807" is corrected in an old hand to septembre on all ten wrappers. The livraison numbers 1 - 10 are added in the same old hand; suggesting that at least the first, and perhaps all these parts date from September 1807. Many birds were obtained in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), where the author resided on the eve of the French revolution. Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot (1748-1831) wrote several other ornithological works. This is one of his finest. This is volume I of a two-volume set with in total 131 plates of a projected 250. Raptors and owls are prominent. Plate one, showing 16 different beaks, bears no number. Some light foxing to the text leaves, the plates generally quite clean (one with a small ink blot in the lower margin), which is certainly unusual for a work known to be prone to foxing. Anker, 515; Nissen IVB, 957; Ronsil, 3030; Sitwell, Fine Bird Books , pp. 149, 151; Zimmer, pp. 654-655.