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Auction: Printed Books, Maps & Documents
was auctioned on: 14 June 2017
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Gould (John).

Estimate: £30,000 - £40,000
ca. US$38,344 - US$51,125
Price realised:  £36,000
ca. US$46,013
Lot number 47, Views: 13

The Birds of Great Britain, 25 original parts (complete), published by the author, 26 Charlotte Street, Bedford Square, August 1st 1862-December 1st 1873, 367 fine hand-coloured lithographs by John Gould, Henry Constantine Richter, Joseph Wolf and William Hart, mostly heightened with gum arabic, the five printed titles, dedication leaf, list of subscribers, preface and introduction all bound into the 25th and final part (with additional printed leaf of instructions to the binder tipped-in at front), occasional light spotting (plates generally in clean condition), untrimmed (sheet size 56 x 38.5 cm), original uniform blue-green cloth-backed printed boards, with wood engraved vignette to upper cover of each volume, rubbed and some marks and occasional soiling, some joints weakened, large folio (57 x 39 cm) Provenance: Formerly part of the library at Mamhead House, near Exeter, the seat of Sir Robert Newman Bt., Baron Mamhead of Exeter. Nissen Illustrierte Vogel Bucher 372. Wood, page 365. Zimmer page 261. Sauer 23. Fine uncut copy as issued in the original parts, with full plate margins, and vivid colouring. Described by Wood as "a magnificent work (in 25 parts) with life-like portraits of the birds inhabiting the British Isles", Gould's Birds of Great Britain is justly considered the outstanding landmark of 19th century British ornithology and natural history publishing. The work contains a much greater amount of descriptive text than in Gould's previous publications, and for the first time includes extensive background detail in the images, including nests, eggs and offspring, 'a thing hitherto almost entirely neglected by authors' as Gould says in his preface. The author goes on to observe "Many of the public are quite unaware how the colouring of these large plates is accomplished; and not a few believe that they are produced by some mechanical process or by chromo-lithography. This, however, is not the case; every sky with its varied tints and every feather of each bird were coloured by hand; and when it is considered that nearly two hundred and eighty thousand illustrations in the present work have been so treated, it will most likely cause some astonishment to those who give the subject a thought". (25)

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Mallard House
Title: Printed Books, Maps & Documents
Date of the auction: 14 Jun 2017
Address: Dominic Winter Auctioneers, Mallard House
Broadway Lane, South Cerney, Nr Cirencester
GL75UQ Gloucestershire
United Kingdom
[email protected] · +44 (0)1285 860006 · +44 (0)1285 862461