Description

    Atlas Volume Containing Seventy-Six Beautiful Hand-Colored Plates by "The Father of American Ornithology"

    Alexander Wilson. American Ornithology; or, the Natural History of the Birds of the United States. Plates. Engraved and Coloured from Original Drawings taken from Nature. New York and Philadelphia: Collins & Co. and Harrison Hall, 1829.

    Second reissue. One folio volume (approximately 14.75 x 11.25 inches). Atlas volume only, no text volumes. Title page and seventy-six tissue-guarded hand-colored engraved plates after Wilson, with gum arabic highlights.

    Beautifully bound in twentieth-century crushed morocco, with gilt lettering, rules, borders, devices, and turn-ins. Red and green gilt-stamped morocco labels in compartments on spine between five raised bands. Marbled endpapers. Occasional minor foxing; a few plates with pencil notations, generally just above the plate mark; Plates 29-79 with varying degrees of worming, most holes quite tiny and all in the top margin of each sheet, outside the image area. Plates are otherwise clean and bright, with extremely vivid color. A beautiful collection of prints in fine condition, in a handsome leather binding.

    Scots-born Alexander Wilson (1766-1813) left Scotland for the United States in 1794 and earned money as a weaver, a peddler, and as a schoolteacher. In 1802 he met naturalist William Bartram who encouraged him to study and paint the birds he encountered on his long walks. Wilson's American Ornithology was originally published in nine volumes between 1808 and 1814, and its publication was greeted with excitement and international acclaim. Wilson's great and important work pre-dates Audubon, earning Wilson the title of "The Father of American Ornithology." This atlas volume contains a later printing of the plates, with the best coloring of any edition issued at that point.


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    October, 2010
    14th-16th Thursday-Saturday
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