WILSON, ALEXANDER. 1766-1813.
American Ornithology; or, The Natural History of the Birds of the United States. Philadelphia: Bradford and Inskeep, 1808-14. 9 volumes. Folio (343 x 257 mm). List of subscribers, wanting half-titles. 76 hand-colored engravings by Alexander Lawson, G. Murray, Benjamin Tanner and J. G. Warnicke, from original drawings by Wilson, multiple figures on plates. A few plates spotted, offsetting throughout, browning to textual leaves, some dampstaining to final textual leaves vol 2.
BONAPARTE, CHARLES LUCIAN. ...The Natural History of Birds ... Not Given by Wilson. Philadelphia: Samuel Augustus Mitchell (vol 1), and Carey, Lea & Carey (vols 2-4), 1825-33. 27 hand-colored engravings. Plates of vols 2-4 browned, text leaves of vols 2 & 4 spotted, repair to margins verso of plate 21.
Together, 13 volumes. Period quarter morocco and marbled boards (sympathetic but not uniform), gilt spines. Bindings a bit worn, a few hinges tightened on Wilson, chipping to spine of volume 4 of Bonaparte.
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST COLOR-PLATE AMERICAN BIRD BOOK PUBLISHED IN AMERICA, and of its four-volume continuation. Wilson, the father of American ornithology, produced his seminal studythe result of years of fieldworkmore than a decade before Audubon's appeared. Bonaparte's work was brought out as a supplement to Wilson's, and the works were published together in subsequent editions. Anker 533; Nissen IVB 992; Sabin 104597; Sitwell p 78, 155.