Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux, ornée de 306 Estampes, qui les représentent parfaitement au Natural... et augmentée de notes & de remarques curieuses, par W.Derham.
La Haye, Pierre de Hondt, 1750. 3 volumes. 4to (293 x 235mm). With 306 fine engraved plates. Contemporary calf, richly gilt decorated spines in 6 compartments with red gilt lettered label, gilt edges (very slightly rubbed).
An attractive uniformly bound copy of the rare French edition, the first English one was published in 1731-1738. Eleazer Albin is one of the obscure 18th century natural history illustrators, and apart from being a teacher of drawing and watercolour hardly anything is known of him. Besides the above work he published a splendid work on the 'Natural history of Insects' and an attractive work on spiders. The plates of the above offered work were drawn by the author. "Albin... was one of the first artists to set each bird on a branch or other suitable perch, sometimes with the typical food of each species as well... The importance of his books ... lies in the fact that some of his illustrations and descriptions are the first of those particular species to appear and thus serve as 'type specimens'... Albin did not work alone. He shared the task of drawing, engraving and colouring the plates with his daughter, Elisabeth (c. 1708-41). She has the distinction of being the first woman known to have worked as an illustrator of bird books, signing forty-one of the plates as having been her work alone. Her style, too, was distinctive, softer and more delicate than her father's, and she was evidently more painstaking, painting with lighter, shorter strokes of the brush" (J. Elphick, Birds, the art of ornithology pp. 32-33). There are 2 issues of the work one with the plates coloured and one with plain plates as the present copy. Provenance: Signature of Palisot-Beauvois on title. Baron Marie François Joseph Palisot de Beauvois (1752-1820) was a French laywer and botanist. Anker 6; Nissen IVB, 16.
Item nr. 9518
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