Gould (John). The Birds of Great Britain, 5 volumes, 1st edition, 1862-73

Gould (John). The Birds of Great Britain, 5 volumes, 1st edition, London: published by the author, 1862-73, 367 hand-coloured lithographic plates, many heightened in gum arabic, pp. [12] cxl [2] [68], [4] [152], [4] [140], [4] [170], [4] [172], the occasional marginal spot, a few oblong plates somewhat tightly bound with captions partly obscured, volume 5 initial blank creased and repaired and text-leaves for plates 76-7 transposed, yellow surface-paper endpapers, broad turn-ins tooled in gilt, all edges gilt, contemporary purple-brown morocco, spines richly gilt in compartments separated by twin raised bands, broad gilt borders to covers incorporating palmette and foliate rolls, imperial folio (54 x 36 cm) Qty: (5) NOTES THE DAVID WILSON LIBRARY OF NATURAL HISTORY PART II Provenance: William Nelson (engraved armorial bookplates with motto 'Virtute et votis'), probably the publisher and philanthropist (1816-1887; see Lyell, Catalogue of the Collection of Medieval Manuscripts bequeathed to the Bodleian Library , p. 16). Fine Bird Books (1990) pp. 40 & 102; Mullens & Swann pp. 240-2; Nissen IVB 372; Wood p. 365 ('A magnificent work'); Zimmer p. 261. A superb set. 'The most popular of [Gould's] works is always likely to be Birds of Great Britain ... There are lovely pictures of the homeliest of British birds; while fantasy and accuracy working hand in hand have full play in the fresh-water grebes and mergansers' (Fine Bird Books). 'Gould will always be remembered by the magnificent series of folio works bearing his name (one of which incidentally is the most sumptuous and costly of the British bird books), which are excelled in extent and beauty by the work of no one other ornithologist, past or present' (Mullens & Swann).