(Nuremberg: J. J. Fleischmann, 1747-76). 395 x 250 mm. (15 1/2 x 10"). With an additional copy of the plates and text of volume IV. Nine parts bound in four volumes. Translated from the English and edited by Georg Leonhard Huth. First Edition in German of Edwards' "Natural History of Birds" and "Gleanings of Natural History" and Catesby's "Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahamas."
First two volumes (parts I-IV) in full contemporary calf, raised bands, spines gilt in compartments with floral sprig centerpiece and leafy corner ornaments, one red and one green morocco label, printed floral endpapers (joints expertly repaired); second two volumes (parts IV-IX) in contemporary half calf over patterned boards, spine panels with gilt centerpiece formed by urn, patera, and swag tools, one tan and one green morocco label, patterned endpapers. With nine engraved vignettes on title pages, three (of four) engraved allegorical frontispieces, one engraved folding map, and 474 ENGRAVED PLATES, 473 OF THESE HAND COLORED, PLUS AN ADDITIONAL 65 PLATES (64 HAND COLORED) in the extra copy of volume IV. Front pastedowns of first two volumes with armorial bookplate of Gustav Adolf von Steenbock. Anker 462; Sitwell, "Fine Bird Books," p. 93; Zimmer, pp. 200-1. Calf volumes with a dozen or so scratches or minor abrasions to boards, those in half calf with short crack to three joints, minor bumps to corners, and a little soiling to paper boards, but all the bindings solid and attractive on the shelf. Front free endleaf of volume III torn in a couple of spots along hinge, text at end of volume II and intermittently in volumes III and IV a bit browned, perhaps a quarter of the plates in volumes III and IV with mild yellowing, a dozen plates in volume IV with noticeable offsetting from text, but still an extremely attractive set, with THE PLATES IN THE FIRST TWO VOLUMES UNUSUALLY FRESH, CLEAN, AND BRIGHT, and all four volumes with quite pleasing hand coloring.
Published over a period of 30 years and rarely found complete, this is one of the most beautiful German bird books, and it is offered here with the bonus of a bound-in duplicate copy of the fourth part (of the nine parts), providing an uncommon opportunity to compare two different colorists at work on copies of the same plates. Save for one of Seligmann's added allegorical frontispieces, our attractive set contains all of the plates called for, which--with this work--is uncommon enough, let alone being enhanced by the duplicates of the 64 plates found here in the fourth part. According to Sitwell, George Edwards' "Natural History of Birds" (1743-51) and "Gleanings" (1758-64) together constitute "one of the most important of all Bird Books, both as a Fine Bird Book and a work of Ornithology." Edwards (1694-1773) revised the second edition of Mark Catesby's "Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahamas" (1748-1754) and wrote the introduction for the present work, for which engraver Johann Michael Seligmann (1720-62) re-engraved the plates from Edwards and Catesby, sometimes adding plants not present in the originals. While the vast majority of the plates depict species of birds, there are also a few showing mammals and one (not listed in Anker) depicting Native Americans from southeastern North America, and a re-engraving of Catesby's map of that area, where he spent several years studying the flora and fauna. This is Seligmann's best-known work, though the Nuremberg-trained engraver also provided illustrations for Conrad Gesner's "Opera Botanica" (1754). No other complete copy of this work has appeared at auction for 20 years; most copies that appear for sale are missing plates, volumes, or both. Our set gives the pleasure of completeness and the bonus of the possibility of aesthetic comparison. (ST14863)
Add to Cart Price: $70,000.00
PJP Catalog: NY19BF.053