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    Alexander Wilson. American Ornithology. Or, the Natural History of the Birds of the United States. Engraved and Coloured from Original Drawings taken from Nature. New York: Collins & Co; Philadelphia: Harrison Hall, 1829. Second reissue, first complete (first reissue identical to first edition except for revisions to Vols. VII-IX). Atlas volume only. Large quarto (14.75 x 11.875 inches; 373 x 300 mm.). [2, title-page] and 76 hand-colored engraved plates.

    [Together with:] [Alexander] Wilson and [Charles Lucien] Bonaparte. American Ornithology. Or, the Natural History of the Birds of the United States. With a Sketch of the Life of Wilson, by George Ord, and a Classification of the Genera and Species of American Birds, by Spencer F. Baird. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, [1871?]. The "Philadelphia Edition." Three text volumes only. Royal octavo (10.25 x 6.625 inches; 259 x 170 mm.). cxxxii, 214; viii, 9-390; viii [preliminaries and contents], xvi, 9-426 pages.

    Atlas volume in later half leather over marbled paper-covered boards, spine tooled in gilt with six raised bands and red leather spine labels, boards ruled in gilt; all text block edges trimmed; pale yellow endpapers. Text volumes in contemporary half brown morocco over marbled paper-covered boards, spine tooled in blind and lettered in gilt with five raised bands, boards ruled in blind; pale yellow endpapers; all text block edges trimmed and gilt. Minor shelf wear to atlas, with some scuffing to leather. More pronounced wear to bindings of text volumes, with backstrips darkened and cracking, resulting in some minor loss to surface of morocco, particularly at spine ends; fair amount of wear along joints, a few of which are just starting to crack at ends; rubbing to boards, with some further loss to surface of morocco; board edges worn and dust-soiled, paper chipped in a few places, including one gouge each at top edges of Vol. I boards; corners bumped, with boards peeking through morocco in a few places. Text volume endpapers with some slight, faint soiling toward edges; all but one hinge cracked, but all still sound; penciled numbers along hinge at rear pastedown of Vol. III. Majority of leaves in atlas volume mounted on guards; text block softly yellowed with age; occasional mild, marginal staining or thumbsoiling scattered throughout interior; minor offsetting opposite plates; light wear and some faint spotting to text block edges. A couple of pencil annotations to margins of first text volume. Very good overall. Originally published in a nine-volume set in 1808-1814, "This book antedates Audubon by some years and is the first American Bird Book with coloured plates, published in America" (Fine Bird Books, 1700-1900, p. 155). The atlas volume in this married set, which comes from the 1829 reissue of Wilson's work, was produced from Wilson's original copper plates but printed on higher-quality paper and hand-colored with better pigments, resulting in the clean, bright plate volume seen here. Sabin 104598; Nissen IVB 992 (text volumes 997).


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