AUDUBON, JOHN JAMES The Birds of America.
. New York: Published by J.J. Audubon; Philadelphia: J.B. Chevalier, 1840-1844. First octavo edition. Seven volumes, later half green morocco over marbled boards, the spines in six compartments, two gilt lettered and four tooled and stamped with bird motifs, 5 raised bands. 10 x 6 1/2 inches (25.5 x 16 cm); Half-titles and lists of subscribers present in all volumes, 500 finely hand-colored lithographic plates after Audubon, printed and colored by J.T. Bowen, in text illustrations. Light spotting throughout, heaviest at preliminaries of vol. 1, 7 and tissue guards, a few plates lightly spotted but overall a very clean copy in both text and plates, spines evenly faded, minor shelfwear.
James Griffith Dearden (bookplates)
A very clean and pleasing set of the first octavo edition, noted by Reese as "the most extensive color plate book produced in America up to that time". This copy finely bound presumably for James Griffith Dearden, the Lord of the Manor of Rochdale and a onetime High Sheriff of Northamptonshire. The first octavo edition, expanded in both plate count and in the amount of species depicted, was the final Birds of America publication to be overseen by Audubon in his lifetime, and was designed to be available "at such a price, as would enable every student or lover of nature to place it in his library" (introduction). Bennett p. 5; Nissen IVB 51; Reese 34; Sabin 2364; McGill/Wood p.208; Ayer/Zimmer p. 22.
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