Rare thin paper edition.
BEWICK, Thomas. A History of British Birds. Vol. I. containing the History and Description of Land Birds [with] Vol. II. containing the History and Description of Water Birds. Newcastle: Printed by Edw. Walker for T. Bewick ... 1809.
Demy 8vo. Contemporary brown calf boards, sometime rebacked with brown morocco. spine with gilt rules and tools and two red morocco gilt lettering pieces; pp. xlii + 328 and xvii + 360; 220 wood-engraved figures of birds, 222 vignettes and tail-pieces, and 12 figures in the text, all by Bewick; occasional light spots, very good.
Fourth edition of the Land Birds, third edition of the Water Birds, printed on thin paper and intended to be bound together as one volume for the first time. This is now a rare edition of the work, due in part to the fragility of the paper: "Copies of this edition are rather scarce and usually in the poorest condition… The Pease Collection has but one copy" (Roscoe, p. 89). However, the thin paper is also cause for this version to be celebrated for the quality of the illustrations: "This edition is much esteemed, as the soft, spongy nature of the paper was capable of receiving better imprints than the previous paper employed" (Thomson, p. 15). This copy is an uncommonly good example of this elusive edition.