One Hundred and Twenty-two Hand-Colored
    Plates of Donovan's British Birds

    E[dward] Donovan. The Natural History of British Birds; or, A Selection of the Most Rare, Beautiful, and Interesting Birds Which Inhabit This Country... Illustrated with Figures, Drawn, Engraved, and Coloured from Fine and Living Specimens. In Five Volumes. London: Printed for the Author; and for F. and C. Rivington, 1799. Five octavo volumes. 122 of 124 hand colored engraved plates, lacking plates 36 (Woodpecker), 50 (Bunting), and all but one tissue guard. Bound in mottled calf with gilt ornamental borders on boards and gilt floral devices and titles on spines. Each volume rebacked. All five housed in a custom cloth slipcase.

    Bindings rubbed and chipped, corners and spine ends bumped, boards exposed at corners. First and fifth volumes both with loose front free endpaper, fly-leaf, and half-title page. Fifth volume with over-opened pages in signatures D through E. Cracked hinges, foxing throughout (present on plates, heavier on text pages), image off-set, some dampstaining, soiling and smudging. Edge wear with corner bends, few corners off, creases, tears (few repaired), and minor paper losses in margins. Slipcase worn. Overall, a good example with bright colorful plates.

    This is the 1799 re-issue of the first five volumes from Donovan's ten volume set, which began its publication in 1794.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    6th Wednesday
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