A monograph of the Capitonidae or scansorial barbets. The plates drawn and lithographed by J. G. Keulemans.
Item ID 71753
London, the authors, 1870-1871. Large 4to (31.0 x 24.7 cm). Title page, dedication page, list of subscribers, contents, list of plates. xli, [viiii] pp.; 73 hand-coloured plates, heightened with gum arabic; each with explanatory text leaves. Contemporary gilt-lined black half morocco over zaffre pebbled boards. Spine with four raised bands; compartments rich gilt with floral patterns and gilt title. Marbled endpapers. Top edge gilt. An excellent copy of a wonderful, very rare, first and best monograph of the New World barbets, a family of tropical birds which are renowned for their beautiful plumage. The name barbets comes from the whisker-like feathers near the bird's beak. Toucans are their closest relatives. The Marshall's - Charles Henry Tilson (1841-1927) and George Frederick Leycester (1843-1934) were brothers and army officers. Both served in India. The illustrator, John Gerrard Keulemans (1842-1912), is arguably the best bird painter ever. The list of subscribers, one hundred names in all, includes John Gould, William Jardine, Osbert Salvin, Hermann Schlegel, Alfred Russel Wallace, the Duke of Edinburgh, etc. Originally published in nine parts. Minimal rubbing to board edges; some occasional light spotting to some text pages, the plates generally very clean, with fine, bright colouring. Anker, 324; Nissen IVB, 591; Sitwell, p. 120; Zimmer, pp. 416-417 (describing an incomplete copy). Colourful New World rainforest birds drawn by Keulemans