GOULD (JOHN) The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869
Lot 78
GOULD (JOHN)
The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869
Sold for £ 187,500 (US$ 246,623) inc. premium

Lot Details
GOULD (JOHN) The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869 GOULD (JOHN) The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869 GOULD (JOHN) The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869 GOULD (JOHN) The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869 GOULD (JOHN) The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869 GOULD (JOHN) The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869 GOULD (JOHN) The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869 GOULD (JOHN) The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869 GOULD (JOHN) The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869 GOULD (JOHN) The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869
GOULD (JOHN)
The Birds of Australia, 7 vol. plus 3 parts of Supplement only (of 5), FIRST EDITION, 2-page subscribers' list, 649 fine hand-coloured lithographed plates (of 681, without the 32 plates in the final 2 supplements) by John and Elizabeth Gould and Henry Constantine Richter, printed by Hullmandel and Walton or Walter, 3 of the plates double-page, very occasional light spotting, 3 plates trimmed touching image, main volumes full green morocco by Clyde, covers with broad ruled and tooled border, spine in 6 compartments with 5 raised bands, lettered in 2, the others gilt with decorative pattern composed from various small tools, inner gilt dentelles, g.e., rubbing to joints and corners, a few surface scuffs, the Supplements in publisher's cloth-backed printed boards, rubbed, spines splitting, one with contents loose [Anker 174, 179; Fine Bird Books, p.101; Nissen IVB 370; Sauer 9, 18; Wood, p.365; Zimmer, pp.255-259], folio (550 x 360mm.), Taylor and Francis for the Author, [1840]-1848-[1851]-1869

Footnotes

  • "ONE OF THE GREAT WORKS OF ORNITHOLOGY: as beautiful as it was pioneering" (Simon Barnes, 'Birds of Paradise', in Bonhams Magazine, Spring 2018). When John and Elizabeth Gould set out for the southern hemisphere in May 1838, the ornithological potential of Australia remained untapped. Apart from Gould, "no one had the ability or the connections to tackle Australia" (Tree, p.63); he boasted to Swainson "I have two of Mrs Gould's brothers... engaged in collecting the natural product of that fine country, nearly the whole of which are consigned to myself and... consequently I possess perhaps greater facilities than most persons for the production of a work of this description. I think I shall add at least as many more species as are at present known."

    Gould's prediction proved correct: the completed work, "a truly magnificent achievement" (Wood), described around six hundred birds of which 328 were previously unknown. In addition, writing to Prince Charles Lucien Napoleon after his return to England, Gould stated that "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."

    "Gould's Birds of Australia remains the most comprehensive work ever produced on the subject. Comparatively few species have been added to the list of native Australian birds; at least two... have become extinct, and at least twenty species are on the verge of extinction or extremely rare. Gould's vast, lavish, hand-coloured volumes, with copious and detailed descriptions of every bird, provide a historical testimony and database for research, even today" (Tree, p.126).

    Provenance: H. Katz, August 1953.
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