MATHEWS, GREGORY MACALISTER. 1876-1949.
The Birds of Australia... [WITH]: The Birds of Norfolk & Lord Howe Islands and the Australasian South Polar Quadrant. London: Witherby & Co., 1910-28.
13 volumes, comprising 3 bound volumes plus 10 volumes in 63 original parts. Folio (349 x 249 mm). Includes 4 (of 5) Supplements and Birds of Norfolk. Without Supplement No 5 (part 2 of the bibliography). With 599 (of 600) hand-colored lithographed plates after H. Grönvold, H. Goodchild, J.G. Keulemans, G.E. Lodge and R. Green, and 45 plates (38 hand-colored) in Norfolk. Volumes 1, 2 and 6 bound in half morocco with gilt avian decoration to upper covers, spines gilt-lettered; other volumes in original parts-issue illustrated wrappers, yapp edges. Volumes 1-5, 7-8 in custom chemises matching bound volumes. Lacking plate 21, occasional faint offsetting, occasional edge-tears and chips to wrappers, a few tiny edge-tears to 5 or 6 plates, some toning to spines and margins of some wrappers, long tear to front wrapper vol 3 part 3, wrappers of Norfolk detached and edgeworn, mild wear to chemises and bindings with tear to head of spine of one chemise, internally clean, plates fine.
FIRST EDITION. "The most comprehensive systematic treatise on Australian birds ... profusely illustrated by beautiful hand-colored plates after drawings by Grönvold, Keulemans, Lodge and other well-known artists. Every detail of a well-ordered, scientific monograph is given" (Wood). Mathews' work was the most important study of the subject to follow Gould, and included many species and sub-species not identified by the latter. It is also one of the last major ornithological works to be illustrated with hand-colored lithographs. The first 3 supplements comprise a check list of Australian birds, with the fourth supplement being part 1 of a bibliography (the second part of the bibliography, supplement 5, is not present). The Birds of Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands includes "Additions to 'The Birds of Australia,'" and is often found together with those volumes, though the author considered it a separate work. Anker 638; Ayer/Zimmer pp 420-1; Nissen IVB 605; Wood p 454.