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Histoire naturelle des perroquets [with - LEVAILLANT, FranÃ§ois and Alexandre BOU - 1804. 
Levrault Schoell et Cie Paris & Strasbourg -5 and 1837-38 but 1835-9 1804 - Three volumes large 4to (34.5 x 27 cm). Handwritten leaf, half-title, title, 4 ll. prospectus (Didot Jeune, an IX-1801), dedication leaf, preface leaf, 203 pp., with 71 pl. (but actually 72, with pl.2 bis), plate 22 before the letter; half-title, title, 175 pp., with 73 pl., incl. bis for pl. 95, 98, 107, 108 and 110; lvi pp. incl. half-title, title and dedication leaf, with a double-page letterpress table 'Synopsis psittacorum', 111 pl., each with one or more leaves of letterpress text -- in all 256 colour plates, including 146 plates by Boquet after Barraband, printed in colours by Langlois and finished by hand, and 111 plates lithographed by Lemercier, Benard, Frey & Cie, after J.C. Werner; occasional spotting, mostly light, a bit stronger in vol. 3, plates generally crisp and clean, sometimes browned in vol. 3. Near contemporary (1840s) dark green sheep spines with raised bands and gilt in compartments, over dark blue marbled paper, marbled endpapers. An unusual example of this magnificent work, which Huzard enriched with the publication prospectus and an original watercolour, signed A.P. for the plate 131 'VariÃ©tÃ© du perroquet Ã taches souci'. It also includes a plate before the letter (#22). The watercolour is most probably due to Auguste Pelletier, who studied under and worked with Barraband, continued Barraband's work together with Levaillant after his death, gaving drawings for Histoire naturelle des promÃ©rops. The very rare third volume, published 30 years later by the same company, was added by Huzard's successor, a collector who had all three volumes uniformly bound in an elegant romantic style. It adds another 111 plates, bringing the total to 256 finely coloured plates. The plates of this Supplement were drawn by Jacques Christophe Werner (1798-1856), a painter of the MusÃ©um d'histoire naturelle in Paris Jardin des Plantes. They represent species left out by Levaillant, or discovered since; most of them are striking birds from Australia and Southern America, especially Brazil. We could trace only three copies of this volume selling at auction in the last 35 years. The first two volumes were beautifully illustrated by Jacques Barraband, the best bird illustrator of the turn of the century. "After he had made himself Emperor, it was part of Napoleon's deliberate policy to initiate a series of magnificent publications that would vie with those undertaken to the orders of Louis XIV. Those were sent as presents to crowned heads, men of science, and learned bodies, in evidence of the splendours of the Empire. In this manner many glorious books came into being, and it is in this light that we should see RedoutÃ©'s "Les LiliacÃ©es" and his two works on the flowers of La Malmaison. The works of Levaillant owe their sumptuous character to the same impetus. His "Histoire Naturelle des Perroquets" is, unwittingly, a part of the glories of Napoleonic France." (Fine Bird Books). With great provenance: Jean-Baptiste Huzard (1755-1838), an important French agronomist, gathered over 60 years an impressive library of over 40,000 volumes. It became one of the largest and most complete ever formed by a private collector in the fields of natural history, agriculture, rural economy, and medicine. Huzard was a knowledgeable collector and many of his books are now remarkable for the material he added, comments, notes, supplements, watercolours, separately printed items etc. - like the present volumes. Ayer/Zimmer 392; Anker 303; FBB (1990) p118 (***); McGill/Wood p434; Nissen IVB 558. [Attributes: Signed Copy; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Shapero Rare Books]
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