Paris, Dufour, 1801.
Large 4to [333 x 253 mm.] of (2) ll., iv pp., 152 pp., 49 plates out of pagination in color.
Straight-grained green half-morocco, spine ribbed decorated with gilt fillets and fleurons, sprinkled edges. Contemporary binding.
First edition and first issue of the only volume that was published about the natural history of some new and rare birds of America.
Graesse, Trésor de livres rares, IV, 188.
Printed on large vellum paper, it is illustrated with 49 superb engravings printed in color and enhanced by hand of “non-African birds, which have not been drawn, or which have been drawn in a manner which rendered them unrecognizable.”
François Levaillant was born in Dutch Guiana in 1753. He went to Paris in 1777 and then decided to go and explore Africa.
Barraband accompanied him in his trips and drew the birds that will later illustrate the various books of the ornithologist. That’s why the birds are so realistic and the spectacular volumes so interesting.
“These plates were printed by Langlois, who did almost all the colour-printing for Levaillant. French colour-printing of this period has never been surpassed.ˮ (Fine Bird Books).
“Levaillant was until exceeded by Gould (and until now only by him) the producer of the most comprehensive series of works on exotic birds” (Fine Bird Books, p. 118).
A fine copy in attractive original condition.