Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2016
    6th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 361

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $200,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $200,000 and $2,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $2,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 June 7 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The resulting auction of my property overwhelmed me. I want to thank Tom Slater and the Heritage team for a very satisfactory experience and profitable result with my historical consignment.
    Henry L.,
    Lexington, KY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,016,674