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MAYR, Ernst.

Five offprints on birds collected during the Whitney South Sea Expedition.

Notes on New Guinea Birds IV; Notes on New Guinea Birds V; Notes on New Guinea Birds VI; Notes on New Guinea Birds VIII; Note on the Genera Halycon, Turdus and Eurostopodus.

Published: New York: The American Museum of Natural History, 1938-41

Stock code: 91310

Price: £1,250

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Offprints of five ornithological papers by Ernst Mayr (1904-2005) that appeared in the American Museum Novitates. Notes on New Guinea Birds IV is inscribed on the front wrapper by Mayr to Hubert Lynes (1874-1942), admiral and noted ornithologist: “To Admiral Lynes with Kindest regards, E. Mayr.” In 1929, Mayr, who was already in New Guinea on behalf of Walter Rothschild, joined the Whitney South Sea Expedition and with it travelled to the Solomon Islands. Organised by the American Museum of Natural History, the expedition visited thousands of Pacific islands between 1921-1932 to study and collect birds of the region; it subsequently provided the AMNH with the largest ornithological collection in the US. In 1931, Mayr was hired as curator of the ornithological department of the AMNH to continue his studies of the specimens collected during the expedition. These papers are five of more than a 100 on avian taxonomy that Mayr wrote while at the AMNH.

5 offprints. All staple bound in self-wrappers. Housed in a black quarter morocco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery. Ink stamp of Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornitology at Oxford University to front wrapper of three offprints, the remaining two offprints have the evolutionary biologist Arthur Cain’s monogram in red pencil to front wrapper. A short split to head of spine of Notes on New Guinea Birds IV; a few roughly opened folds in Notes on New Guinea Birds V and VI; Notes on New Guinea Birds VIII slightly foxed along top margin, contents unopened. An excellent set.

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