EDWARDS, George. Histoire naturelle d’oiseaux peu communs: et d’autres animaux rares & qui n’ont pas été Decrits, quadrupeds, reptiles, poisons, insects, &c. Représentés sur Cent Dix Planches en Taille douce, Avec une ample & exacte Description de chaque Figure…


One of the most beautiful ornithology books of the 18th century

One of the most beautiful ornithology books of the 18th century illustrated with 362 etchings finely and contemporary watercolored.

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SKU: LCS-15734 Categories: ,

London, printed for the author, 1745-1751.

A total of 8 4to volumes [285 x 233 mm] of: I/ (1) l. of frontispiece, (5) ll., xxi pp. of foreword, LII pp. and 52 numbered full-page figures, (1) p. of table ; II/ (2) ll., pp. LIII to CV and 53 figures numbered 53 to 105, 26 pp., 1 full-page portrait; III/ (3) ll., pp. CVI to CLVII and 52 figures numbered 106 to 157; IV/ (2) ll., pp. CLVIII to CCX and 53 figures, pp. 211 to 236 ; V/ (5) ll. including a portrait of the author, 108 pp. and 50 numbered figures; VI/ (6) ff., xxxv pp., pp. 109 to 220 and 50 figures numbered 261 to 310; VII/ (4) ll., vii pp., pp. 221 to 347 and 52 figures numbered 311 to 362 ; VIII/ (2) ll., XX pp., 128 pp., (2) ll. between pp. 52-53, 1 full-page portrait between pp. 118-119, (2) ll., pp. 106 to 248, (4) ll. between pp. 157-158. A few foxed ll. Full marbled calf, double gilt fillet on the covers with corner fleurons, spine ribbed and richly decorated, green and light brown morocco lettering pieces, inner gilt border, gilt edges. Contemporary binding.

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Superb edition of one of the most beautiful treatises of ornithology of the 18th century. Nissen 286; Stillwell p.93; Brunet, II, 946; Fine Bird Books p.73.

Our precious copy gathers three texts by George Edwards: l’Histoire naturelle d’oiseaux peu communs (4 volumes, text in French), Glanures d’histoire naturelle (3 volumes, English text with its French translation on the opposite page) and the volume entitled A Natural History of Birds (1 volume, text in English).

At its date “The Natural History of Birds’ was one of the most important of all Bird Books, both a Fine Bird Book and a work on ornithology” Fine Bird Books.

English naturalist, George Edwards was a librarian at the college of Doctors and a friend of Linnaeus. He dedicated many years to the creation of this work which remains one of the most important books of the second of the 18th century, about ornithology. This edition, the first French one, includes the French text by David Durand.

A splendid work, considered as one of the most beautiful of its time, illustrated with 210 etchings for the first text and with 152 for the second one, delicately and contemporary watercolored, from life, as well as a frontispiece and three portraits.

Most of the plates are dedicated to birds of different types: parrots, birds of paradise, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, cranes, ducks,the whole in bright coloring. Each of the etchings is composed with care; it places the bird in its natural context: trees, fruits, flowers, insects cover these charming paintings.

The fowl takes an important place in this gallery: quails, pigeons, cock, bustards, partridges, thrushes, ducks, pheasants…

A precious and superb copy of which 362 etchings have been admirably and contemporary watercolored in bright and refined coloring, preserved in elegant and uniform contemporary bindings.

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EDWARDS, George.