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The birds of South Africa.

Author: Layard, Edgar Leopold
Year: 1875-1884
Edition: second
Publisher: London: Bernard Quaritch
Category: Arts &tc.
Price: € 1,650.-

New edition. Thoroughly revised and augmented by R. Bowdler Sharpe; 8vo, pp. xv, (1), ix-xvii, 1, 1, (1), 890; missing pages 856 up till 866 as usual. (Please note that the pagination is fully matching Mendelssohn's description.)
Rebound in green leather over green cloth somewhere mid 20th century. Spine with seven raised bands, ruled in gilt, with a red label in the second compartment with gilt titles. Title page lightly chipped at fore- and bottom edge. Some very occasional spotting in the text and a few handwritten remarks and corrections by pencil.
Overall a clean copy of the second edition, the first edition with the 12 beautiful hand coloured plates by Keulemans.

Although chromolithography became common in the last decades of the 19th century, it could not come close to producing the precise hues and varied depth of hand-colouring. Keulemans was a perfectionist and hence many of the books illustrated by him during that period still have handcoloured plates, as is the case with this book.

John Gerrard Keulemans was born in the Netherlands as the son of a wealthy manufacturer. Though educated to work in the family business, it soon became obvious that his interests and talents lay in natural history, mainly in the field of observation and the illustration of animals, particularly birds, and already at the age of 19 he was working as a taxidermist. In 1869 it was Richard Bowdler Sharpe, the editor of this 2nd edition, who persuaded him to move to London. Keulemans was the illustrator of many important books on birds published during the last 30 years of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century.

A very nice copy of this book. Mendelssohn I, p. 872.

Click on a picture to enlarge.




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