The author. 1871-82 London, Condition: bound in 9 text volumes and 4-plate volumes. All bindings ¾ dark green/black-calf leather with cloth panels, 5 hubs on each spine and gilt lettering. The plate volumes and the supplement bound at a later point in time to match volumes I through VIII. Period bookplates of previous owner. Text remarkably free of browning. All text volumes have the half title and the full title and volume 1, which contains the index, has the list of subscribers. Plates clean and with virtually no foxing or browning. The first plate, of the missel thrush, with an enlarged binding hinge and 2/8 of an inch shorter trimmed at the bottom then the other plates. Some minor scuffing and shelf wear to the volumes. A few volumes with creasing and browning of the endpapers and inner hinges starting. Set page numbered in pencil in the plate volumes and text volumes II through VIII. [Anker 120; Fine Bird Books p.92; Nissen IVB 267]. Item #005466
9 volumes, vol I with 102 numbered pages, volumes II-VIII unnumbered but with a hand written page count in pencil as follows; vol II 644pp, vol III 620pp; vol IV 635pp; vol V 668pp; vol VI 708pp; volume VII 660pp; vol VIII 666pp. Volume IX dated 1895-1896 and with 441 numbered pages. A most sumptuous productions taking a decade to complete without even counting the supplement. Contains 722 colored plates of all birds known in Europe at that time. Each plate is hand colored mostly after John Gerrard Keulemans, but a few after Edward Neale, Archibald Thorburn and Joseph Wolf (who designed the additional decorative title pages). The coloring by Smith or William Mathew Hart, some heightened with gum Arabic. Considering what individual plates sell for framed for decorative purposes the bound complete sets still in extant are offered at a great discount.