British Birds with their Nests and Eggs

BUTLER, Arthur Gardiner. British Birds with their Nests and Eggs.

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'a handsome work and a thorough account of the subject'

BUTLER, Arthur Gardiner. British Birds with their Nests and Eggs. Hull and London: Brumby & Clarke, Limited, [1896-1898].

4to (313 x 252mm), 6 volumes. 19th century half brown calf, marbled boards, spines with gilt raised bands, rules and lettering; pp. I: [4 ], 208; II: [4], 192; III: [4], 175; IV: [4], 218, [2]; V: [4], 178, [2]; VI: [4], 252; 24 colour-printed lithographic plates of eggs by and after F.W. Frohawk, printed by Brumby and Clarke, 318 monochrome plates after Frohawk, illustrations in the text after Frohawk; a little rubbing to edges, internally very clean, very good. Provenance: ffeps with bookplate of J. Fenwick Lansdowne (1937-2008), the celebrated Canadian wildlife artist who was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 1976 for his distinctive artwork that shows the influence of Audubon while maintaining a greater fidelity to life. Front pastedowns with bookplate of Linley Blathwayt (1838-1919) who, with his wife Emily, created a bolt-hole for the Women's Social and Political Union at his estate Eagle House near Batheaston, where he entertained the Pankhursts and others as they planned their fight for women's suffrage.
First edition. 'A very good account of the subject, including discussions of numerous casual visitors not fully recognised as British birds' (Zimmer). British Birds was published in parts over a period of two years, and this set appears to have been bound up from the original parts, since staple holes are visible on the fore-edge margins of some of the plates. The individual volumes are arranged thus, I: Order Passeres (first part); II: Order Passeres (second part); III: Order Picariae, Orders Striges and Accipitres (by Murray A. Mathew) and Order Steganopodes (by Henry O. Forbes); IV: Orders Herodiones and Odontoglossae (by Henry O. Forbes), Order Anseres (by John Cordeaux), and Orders Columbae and Pterocletes (by W.B. Tegetmeier); V: Orders Gallinae, Faulicariae, and Alectorides (by W.B. Tegetmeier) and Order Limicolae (by Henry H. Slater); VI: Order Gaviae (by Henry O. Forbes), Order Pygopodes (by O.V. Aplin), and Order Tubinares (by H.A. MacPherson). The work is notable for the fine colour-printed plates of eggs after Frohawk; as Anker notes, they 'supply for the first time a coloured reproduction of the eggs of the Great Auk' (cf. plate XXIII). The oological text and plates were reissued under the title Birds’ Eggs of the British Isles ... With 24 Coloured Plates (London and New York: 1904).
Anker 88; BM(NH) I, p. 293; Fine Bird Books (1990) p. 85; Mengel 447 ('A handsome work and a thorough account of the subject'); Mullens and Swann p. 111; Nissen, IVB 167; Ripley and Scribner p. 50; Wood p. 274; Zimmer, p. 119.

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