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2020-03-25 16:35:06
ALBIN, Eleazar.
A Natural History of Birds.
London W. Innys and R. Manby -1740, 1738. First edition, second issue with later title-pages, 3 vols; 4to (30 x 24 cm); 306 hand-coloured copper engraved plates, red edges, marbled endpapers, internally very fresh, preliminary leaves stuck together in two volumes; contemporary mottled calf with gilt tooling to covers, skilfully rebacked, spine in seven parts with raised bands and gilt floral detail, label to second part, corners a little bumped otherwise a very good copuy. The first British bird book to use coloured plates. 'For the most part Albin delineated one bird per plate. The birds are placed on a branch or on the ground, each part coloured. The proportions of the birds are a distinct improvment on those in Willoughby and Ray . Albin produced his paints in a rather strange manner according to Petiver's account. For his reds he washed and dried vermilion pigment in four waters and then proceeded to "grind it in boys urine three times, yn [then] gum arabic it and grind it in Brandy wine." Whatever his methods and however singular the contribution by his sons, this very first effort at colouring plates depicting birds is highly commendable and the results were gratifying, for the book was popular.' ( Jackson, Bird Etchings). Anker, 4 & 5; Jackson, Bird etchings pp 65-75; Mullens & Swann p8; Nissen IVB, 14. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover]
Bookseller: Shapero Rare Books [London, United Kingdom]
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