1678 · London
by Willughby, Francis; John Ray.
London: A.C. for John Martyn, printer to the Royal Society, 1678. First edition in English. Very Good. Folio (34 cm); , 441,  pages, 80 leaves of plates (two of them unnumbered). Title in red and black. Books 2 and 3 each preceded by inserted leaf bearing table for respective book. Bound in contemporary panel calf, acid-etched in two patterns, rather worn on lower board with areas of abrasion, upper board intact. Corners bumped. Some old repairs to leather. Joints splitting at head and tail, yet holding strong. Text and plates bright and clean. References: Wing (2nd ed.); W2880; Keynes, G. Ray, 39; Osler; 971; Casey Wood 629 ("One of the most important treatises on ornithology of all time, being the first systematic classification of the birds of the world.")
Four years after Willughby's death in 1672, John Ray completed the text from Willughby's notes with the aid of funds provided by the widow. Ray produced this English version of two years later, with three additional plates. A fundamental treatise.
(Inventory #: 6252)