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A Monograph of the Nectariniidae, or Family of Sun-Birds.

KEULEMANS, Johann Gerard (1842-1912) - SHELLEY, George Ernest (1840-1910).

Published by London: by the Author and printed by Taylor and Francis, 1876-1880., 1880
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4to., (12 4/8 x 9 6/8 inches). 121 hand-colored lithographed plates by J. G. Keulemans, printed by M. and N. Hanhart (title-page and preliminaries with some light spotting). Later half green morocco gilt by H.H. Porter (spine a bit sunned). Provenance: With the bookplate of F. D. Tutt over an earlier bookplate on the front paste-down; the bookplate of Sir Giles Loder Bt., on the front free endpaper, his sale London, 2nd June 1999, lot 83. First edition bound from the original 12 parts and limited to 250 copies. Shelley acknowledges the importance of Keuleman's specialist knowledge in his preface: "The illustrations which form such an important portion of my Monograph, have all been executed by Mr. Keulemans, whose name is sufficient guarantee for the accuracy of the details and for high artistic skill. The latter is rendered perhaps more striking from his being acquainted with this family of birds in their native haunts; and his notes upon the sun-birds inhabiting Prince's Island have been incorporated in my work". Shelley, the nephew of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and author of "a Handbook to the Birds of Egypt" made several excursions to Africa: "the sense of pleasure with which I preserved my first specimens of this beautiful little species on the banks of the Nile above the First Cataract, and the engaging habits of the species, impressed me so much, that on all my subsequent visits to the African continent I paid special attention to the Sun-birds in each country I visited" (page ix). Keulemans began his career as a taxidermist providing stuffed birds to the State Museum of Natural History at Leiden. The director of that museum encouraged Keulemans to pursue his love of natural history, where he obtained a scientific appointment after an expedition to West Africa in 1865 and 1866. His accomplishments in illustration came to the notice of Richard Bowdler Sharpe, later a director of the British Museum, who encouraged him to move to England. Keulemans quickly achieved wide recognition and established himself as the most popular bird artist of the late Victorian period. He regularly provided illustrations for "The Ibis" and "The Proceedings of the Zoological Society". He illustrated many important bird books including Buller's "A History of the Birds of New Zealand" (1873), Shelley's "Monograph of the Sun-Birds" (1876-1880) (as here), William Vincent Legge's "Birds of Ceylon" (1880), Daniel Giraud Elliot's "Monograph of the Hornbills" (1887-1892), Richard Bowdler Sharpe's "Monograph on Kingfishers" (1868-1871), Henry Seebohm's "Monograph on Thrushes" (1902), and Osbert Salvin's "Biologia Centrali-Americana" (1879-1904). Fine Bird Books p. 108; Nissen IVB 873; Zimmer, p.588. Bookseller Inventory # 72nhr91

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Monograph of the Nectariniidae, or Family ...

Publisher: London: by the Author and printed by Taylor and Francis, 1876-1880.

Publication Date: 1880

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

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