La volière des oiseaux.
[Paris, Leroy, ca. 1630]. Small oblong folio (16.0 x 23.3 cm). Three suites consisting 20 (8; 6; 6) engraved bird plates by Leroy, including the engraved title page. The first two with arabic numerals, the third with Roman numbers. Bound with this set is one extra, old, engraved bird plate by an unknown artist. In a later (but not recent) black morocco binding with gilt lettering on the spine, and preserved in a modern protective slipcase (17.0 x 23.8 x 1.6 cm) with marbled paper boards.
An extremely rare set of this fine suite of bird engravings by the French engraver of Dutch descent, Henry Leroy or Le Roy (1579-1651). Each plate shows a group of birds in its natural surroundings. Leroy shows local and exotic birds - birds of prey, a toucan, and parrots, among others. The engravings are very delicately executed. Our set matches exactly with Ronsil 1766: the first plate shows a birdcage in which the title is printed, followed by seven numbered plates. This followed by a suite of six numbered plates and then another suite of six numbered plates. In total 12 of the plates are signed by Leroy and one is signed by Herman Wynen (as in Ronsil); the others have no signature. Seven plates have Latin names printed next to the bird figures. This set is sometimes described as three suites, as we do, based on the numbering and a corresponding slight change in style. A very nice suite by Leroy with wide margins on its original paper. Nissen IVB, 544, Ronsil, 1766.