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History of British Birds - MORRIS Rev. F. O. FAWCETT Benjamin - 1865. 
1865 - MORRIS, Francis Orpen. A History of British Birds. London: Groombridge and Sons, 1865. Six volumes. Octavo, early 20th-century three-quarter navy morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards and endpapers, all edges gilt. $2500.Early edition of Morris' popular British ornithology, with 358 vividly hand-colored wood-engravings by Benjamin Fawcett from the drawings of Richard Alington. Handsomely bound by William Matthews.Morris is "best known by his works on natural history, which, although 'popular' rather than scientific, had much literary value" (DNB). First published in monthly parts by Richard Groombridge from 1851-57, this first Bell edition of Morris' Birds was reissued in 1870 from the original color wood blocks made by Benjamin Fawcett. The Birds "early obtained considerable popularity on account of its readability and moderate cost" (Zimmer). "The work deals broadly with individual species, for instance as regards their distribution, occurrence in the British Isles, and habits, the birds themselves and their eggs being also described. The number of species included in the work increased gradually as new species were added to British avifauna" (Anker). This second edition was considered by Morris an improvement over the first, with seven additional plates. The plates were made from original drawings by Richard Alington, transferred to wood, engraved and color-printed by Benjamin Fawcett, whose firm specialized in very fine quality xylographs"" a color wood-engraving process. Fawcett is generally considered the "father of color printing," having developed a cost-effective method of cutting several color wood blocks for a given plate (these in two blocks of black and gray), thereby reducing the number additional colors to be painted by hand. First published in monthly parts by Richard Groombridge from 1851-57, this reissue of the first edition precedes the 1870 revised second edition. Zimmer, 443. Nissen 645. Sitwell, 125. See Anker 346. Volumes I and II expertly rebacked with original spines neatly laid down, Volume IV with expert joint repairs. Some volumes with very mild dampstaining to lower margin of some leaves, not affecting plate images or text. Near-fine condition, a very handsome set. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
[Bookseller: Bauman Rare Books]
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