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SALVIN, Francis Henry & William Brodrick.

Falconry in the British Isles.

Availability: In stock

Published: London John Van Voorst, 1855

Stock Code: 130485

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


First edition of ''the best English book on falconry, and a very attractive publication'' (Schwerdt). The scion of a Roman Catholic landed family in Durham, Salvin (18171904), was educated at Ampleforth and in 1839 was commissioned in the York and Lancaster Regiment, retiring in 1864 with the rank of captain. "Salvin's early love of hawking was stimulated by an acquaintance with John Tong, a one-time assistant falconer to Colonel Thomas Thornton. In the manner of Thornton, he made a highly successful hawking tour of northern England in 1843 with John Pells (then in the pension of the hereditary grand falconer of England). When serving with his regiment in Ireland in 1855, Salvin used to fly peregrine falcons at rooks and tiercels at magpies" (ODNB). His lifetime of devotion to the sport was to lead Fisher to call him "the father of the craft in England" (Reminiscences of a Falconer, p.178).

A frequent contributor to The Field, the present work was Salvin's first book, and was written in collaboration with William Brodrick, a fellow falconry enthusiast with a remarkable collection of working birds containing "most, if not all, of the hawks and falcons usually employed in modern falconry Under his care, examples of the Greenland, Iceland, and Norwegian gerfalcons, sakers, and lanners lived for years, a source of admiration to all who saw them" (ibid.). Brodrick's most significant contribution to the book was the "capital illustrations all drawn by him from the life, The figures of hawks are in their way inimitable, and bear comparison with the best work of his friend and only rival in the same line, the accomplished animal painter Joseph Wolf". The stones for the plates were destroyed after publication, so they had to be redrawn for the second edition (1873), and while the text of this later edition is preferred "for the emendations and additions", the plates of the present are considered "much superior" (Harting). A well-presented and clean copy of this important work.

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Quarto (279 x 184 mm). Twentieth-century dark green half morocco by Sangorski and Sutcliffe for R.D. Steedman, paler green linen boards, title direct to spine, raised bands with dotted roll, bird devices to the compartments within single fillet panel, similar rules to the spine and corner edges, top edge gilt, grey-green endpapers.


24 hand-coloured lithographs heightened with gum arabic, tissue-guards.


A little rubbed, corners bumped, plates a touch toned and with some foxing verso on the those bound early and late, occasional pale spotting to the text-block, overall very good.


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