Gould (John) The Birds of Australia, 8 volumes (including supplement).681 hand-coloured lithographed plates by John and Elizabeth Gould, Henry Constantine Richter, and Edward Lear, (3 double-page), copy of a letter by and a portrait of Gould mounted on front pastedown of volume one, clipped signature of John Gould mounted on front pastedown of volume 6, titles and approximately 17 plates with light spotting, small repair to fold of double-page plate in volume 4, later green morocco gilt, folio (538 by 364mm.), London, Taylor and Francis for the Author, -1848
FIRST EDITION. A FINE COPY.
John and Elizabeth Gould sailed for Australia in May 1838. They spent nearly eighteen months exploring and collecting specimens in Tasmania, the Bass Strait, New South Wales and South Australia, penetrating nearly 400 miles into the interior, assisted by the zoologist John Gilbert. Elizabeth completed nearly 600 drawings, and described over 300 new species.
Writing to Prince Charles Lucien Bonaparte on his return to London, Gould stated that The interval spent from my native shores were some of the happiest days of my life . The results of my journey cannot, I think, but be attended with great advantage to science Independently of a great new number of Birds I succeeded in procuring the nests and eggs of at least two thirds of the species inhabiting that interesting region.
When Elizabeth died in 1841 her place as the major illustrator was taken by Hans Constantine Richter.
References: Nissen IVB 370; Anker 174 & 179; Fine Bird Books, p. 78; Sauer 9 & 18; Zimmer, pp. 225 & 259.
Provenance: bookplate of and manuscript captions byHenry L. White, Belltrees, Scone, New South Wales.