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    Author's Own Copy, with Fifty Hand-Colored Lithographed Plates

    John Cassin. Illustrations of the Birds of California, Texas, Oregon, British and Russian America. Intended to contain descriptions and figures of all North American birds not given by former American authors, and a general synopsis of North American Ornithology. Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1856.

    First edition. Author signed the second front free endpaper "John Cassin/ Philadelphia/ Nov. 3rd 1864". Quarto. viii, 298 pages. Fifty hand-colored lithographed plates, including frontispiece, after George G. White by Wm. E. Hitchcock, printed and colored by J.T. Bowen. Index.

    Later blue morocco with floral rules and decoration stamped in blind and gilt on the boards and spine, with unique decorated endpapers. Plate 9 detached but present. Additional titles stamped in gilt on labels in six compartments between five raised bands on the spine. Spine sunned with light shelf wear to the boards. Scattered mild foxing especially at the preliminary pages and areas of light staining throughout but plates remain unaffected. Overall a very clean copy, very good in a handsome binding.

    Originally issued in ten parts between 1853 and 1855, this work was intended as a supplement to the octavo edition of Audubon's Birds of America. Hitchcock, who transferred White's drawings to stone, and Bowen, who printed and colored them, had both worked extensively on that earlier work, as well as on the octavo edition of Audubon and Bachman's Quadrupeds of North America. Cassin was the first American ornithologist to use trinomials to designate geographical races. "The work was intended by Cassin as a general revision of the ornithology of the United States, and he expresses the hope that he may be able to issue two additional volumes or series; however, nor more than this one volume ever appeared" (Anker). Ayer/Zimmer, pp. 124-125. Copenhagen/Anker 92. Fine Bird Books, p. 64. McGill/Wood, p. 281. Nissen, IVB, 173. Sabin 11369.

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    October, 2008
    16th-18th Thursday-Saturday
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