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A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, and of Some Other Rare and Undescribed Animals by  George (1694-1773) EDWARDS - 1805 - from Donald Heald Rare Books (SKU: 20744)

A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, and of Some Other Rare and Undescribed Animals

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A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, and of Some Other Rare and Undescribed Animals

by EDWARDS, George (1694-1773)

  • Used
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About This Item

London: printed by C. Rickaby "for the author" [i.e. William Gardiner and Messrs. Robinson], 1805. 4 parts bound in 2 volumes. Titles and text printed on wove or laid paper, two general titles (one in French and one in English) at the front of vol.I with engraved vignettes by Johann Sebastian Müller. 1 hand-coloured etched emblematic frontispiece, 211 etched plates (printed on wove or laid paper, 210 finely hand-coloured, 1 uncoloured etched plate of the Samoyed) all by and after Edwards, woodcut head- and tailpieces and initials. [With:] EDWARDS, George (1694-1773). Gleanings of Natural History, Exhibiting Figures of Quadrupeds, Birds, Insects, Plants, &c. London: printed by C. Rickaby for "the author" [i.e. William Gardiner and Messrs. Robinson], "1758-1760" [plates watermarked 1803-1805]. 3 parts bound in 2 volumes. Titles and text printed on wove or laid paper, one general title at the front of vol.I with engraved vignettes by Johann Sebastian Müller, letterpress English and French general title and part-titles, text in English and French in double columns, translated by J. du Plessis and Edmond Barker. 1 uncoloured engraved portrait of the author by Miller after "Dandridg," 152 etched plates (printed on wove or laid paper) all finely hand-coloured, by and after Edwards and others. Together 4 volumes. Quarto (11 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches). Uniform contemporary red straight-grained morocco, covers with border of a triple gilt fillet, spines in six compartments with double raised bands, the bands highlighted with gilt fillets and roll tools, lettered in the second and fourth compartments, gilt turn-ins, gilt edges. Provenance: George Savile Foljambe (1800-1869, Osberton Hall, Nottinghamshire, England, armorial bookplate). A spectacular set of "one of the most important of all bird books, both as a fine bird book and a work of ornithology" (Fine Bird Books). This issue, bound circa 1815, benefits greatly from being published at a time when two book-arts were at a high point: the art of hand-colouring was at its most sophisticated and the design and execution of bindings was equally exceptional. The colouring in this issue has the clear jewel-like quality that is a feature of the work of the best colourists of the Regency period. The same period also produced some of best binders since the 17th-century Restoration masters and the present set is a delightfully-understated example of the kind of craftsmanship of which they were capable. Edwards "has been well described as an unscientific but very accurate describer and painter of animal life, and his writings will always remain of paramount authority, from the faithfulness of his description of many new birds, subsequently incorporated in the Linnaean System. He had, says Swainson, the simplicity and piety of Izaac Walton, and may be looked upon as one of our greatest worthies. He retired about 1764 to Plaistow, died July 23, 1773" (Mullens and Swann p.194). "Through the influence of Sir Hans Sloane, [Edwards] was chosen Librarian to the Royal College of Physicians ... Almost immediately after he was appointed ... Edwards commenced the preparation of a series of coloured drawings of animals and birds, used later to illustrate [the present work]; for these he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Society and subsequently elected a Fellow" (Lisney p.127). The work was quite successful and went through a number of transformations whilst under Edwards' control, including the issuing of a French text edition. Shortly after he retired in 1769 he sold "to Mr. James Robson, Bookseller ... all the remaining copies of my Natural History ... coloured under my immediate inspection, together with all my copper-plates, letter-press, and every article in my possession relative to it ... and that my labours may be handed down to posterity with integrity, truth, and exactness, I have delivered into his hands a complete set of plates, highly coloured by myself, as a standard to those Artists who may be employed in colouring them for the future" (George Edwards, declaration quoted in Robson's Some Memoirs... of George Edwards, dated May Ist, 1769). [Bound at the end of the second work are:] [J. ROBSON] Some Memoirs of the Life and Works of George Edwards. London: for J.Robson, 1776. Lacking the 4 engraved plates. Zimmer p.529. [And with:] Carolus LINNAEUS. A Catalogue of the Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Insects... contained in Edwards's Natural History ... with their Latin names. London: for J. Robson, 1776. Cf. Anker 124-126; cf. Fine Bird Books (1990) p.93; cf. Lisney 188, 192-193, 197-198, 200-201, 203, 205, 208, and 211; cf. Mullens and Swann pp. 195-196; cf. Nissen IVB 286-289; cf. Zimmer pp.192-194 and 196-199.

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Details

Bookseller
Donald Heald Rare Books US (US)
Bookseller Inventory #
20744
Title
A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, and of Some Other Rare and Undescribed Animals
Author
EDWARDS, George (1694-1773)
Format/binding
4 parts bound in 2 volumes
Book condition
Used
Quantity available
1
Publisher
printed by C. Rickaby "for the author" [i.e. William Gardiner and Messrs. Robinson]
Place of Publication
London
Date published
1805
Bookseller catalogs
Ornithology;
Note

Terms of Sale

Donald Heald Rare Books

All items are guaranteed as described. Any purchase may be returned for a full refund within 10 working days as long as it is returned in the same condition and is packed and shipped correctly.

About the Seller

Donald Heald Rare Books

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio.com member since: 2006
New York, New York
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About Donald Heald Rare Books

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Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

New
A new book is a book previously not circulated to a buyer. Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects,...[more]
raised band(s)
Raised bands refer to the ridges that protrude slightly from the spine on leather bound books.  The bands are created...[more]
edges
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...[more]
fine
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...[more]
gilt
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]
quarto
The term quarto is used to describe a page or book size. A printed sheet is made with four pages of text on each side, and the...[more]
morocco
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also...[more]
plate
Full page illustration or photograph. Plates are printed separately from the text of the book, and bound in at production. I.e.,...[more]

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