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    Frank Buck's Copy of "perhaps the greatest ornithological work of the present century" [Zimmer]

    William Beebe. A Monograph of the Pheasants. London: Published Under the Auspices of the the New York Zoological Society by Witherby & Co., 1918-1922. First edition, one of six hundred sets (this being number 118). Frank Buck's copy, with a typed letter signed (laid-in) to his widow, Mrs. [Muriel] Buck, from the director of the Smithsonian Institution National Zoological Park (W. M. Mann), discussing this set, evidently answering Mrs. Buck's inquiry about the possibility of selling it, as well as expressing his condolences on the death of Frank (letter is dated May 8, 1950, and Buck died on March 25 of that year). Four large folio volumes. Approximately 16 x 11.25 inches. [2, blank, xlix, [1, blank], 198; xv, [1, blank], 269, [1, blank]; xvi, 204; xv, [1, blank], 242 pages. Complete with eighty-eight photogravure plates, ninety chromolithograph plates (plates and photogravures with captioned tissue guards) and twenty maps inserted throughout. Publisher's full burgundy cloth, front covers and spines lettered in gilt. Some wear and soiling to bindings, some hinges just starting (yet binding is still pretty solid for such heavy text-blocks), glue residue from a newspaper clipping on the front free endpaper of volume I, some dampstaining to the rear board of volume I. Text a bit toned, some minor occasional thumbsoiling. Still, a fine set of this rare and beautiful work. Also laid-in is an autographed note signed by Muriel Buck thanking Mr. and Mrs. P. D. Moore of Midland, Texas for their letter and good wishes. One of the finest and most impressive natural history books of the twentieth century, with an excellent association.

    More Information:

    Frank Buck (1884-1950, American adventurer and actor) is perhaps best known for his best-selling book, Bring 'Em Back Alive (1930), and his several appearances in films in the thirties and the forties. However, he spent most of his professional life travelling the world, capturing wild animals, and returning them to zoos and circuses around the world (the Frank Buck Zoo in Gainesville, Texas is named in his honor). His widow Muriel (née Reilly) was married to him from 1928 until his death.

    Zimmer I, 49. Anker 31. Mengel 203.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    10th Wednesday
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