Coloured Illustrations of British Birds, and their Eggs.London: G. W. Nickisson (volumes I & II); Simpkin, Marshall, & Co. (volumes III-VI); Willis and Sotheran (volume VII), 1842-57 Stock Code: 120503
First octavo edition, with the Willis and Sotheran reissue of volume VII (the Preface to volume I is dated 1852). The original folio edition of 1835-41 is described by Mullens and Swann as "one of our most valuable illustrated works on ornithology". Henry Leonard Meÿer involved his whole family in the production of his books, his wife assisting with drawing and lithography and his children with the hand-colouring (see Christine Jackson, Bird Illustrators: Some Artists in Early Lithography).
7 volumes, octavo (216 x 130 mm). Contemporary red pebble-grain morocco, richly gilt spines, gilt two-line border on sides enclosing gilt roll-tool border, gilt edges, gilt roll tool turn-ins, marbled endpapers.
427 hand-coloured lithograph plates (105 showing eggs), 7 uncoloured plates, by Meyer and Mary Anne Meyer.
From the library of Irish judge and discerning book collector William O'Brien (1832-99), which was endowed on his death to the Milltown Park Jesuit Library, Dublin; this set carries his post-mortem bookplate, Milltown Park library tickets, bequest labels and library stamps (mostly to titles). Scattered minor spotting to covers, occasional foxing. An excellent set.
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