London: published under the auspices of the New York Zoological Society by Witherby and Co, 1927. 4 volumes, folio. (15 15/16 x 11 3/4 inches). Titles in red and black, 90 coloured lithograph or collotype plates, after A. Thorburn, G.E. Lodge, H. Gronvold, L.A. Fuertes, Chas. R. Knight, H. Jones, and E. Megargee, 88 photogravure plates (many with 2 images) from photographs by Beebe and others, 20 distribution maps printed in red and black by Stanford's, the chromolithographs and photogravures with captioned tissue-guards. Publisher's maroon cloth, upper covers and spines lettered in gilt, top edge gilt First edition of perhaps the greatest ornithological work of the last century, "notable not only for its beauty and the wealth of information it contains, but also for the unusual grace of its prose" (Ellis). Limited edition of 600 copies, this number 395. Beebe's text is based on his own extensive expeditions through Asia, as well as his study of the collections of the leading natural history museums around the world. The illustrations, including portraits of birds and photographs of habitats, add to the beauty and value of the volumes. Anker 31; Ellis 203; Nissen IVB 84; Nissen SVB 41; Tate 119; Wood 228; Zimmer 49.
(Inventory #: 28878)
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