New York: by the author, 1882. 4to. FIRST EDITION. With 60 lithograph plates, comprising 57 hand-colored plates by and after J.G. Keulemans, and 3 uncolored plates of generic characters by and after J. Smit, plus numerous anatomical text illustrations. Contemporary green half morocco, spine elaborately gilt, top edge gilt, and with the original printed wrappers to all 10 parts bound in; minor browning and spotting on some of the plates browned at outer blank margin, very light occasional spotting. From the library of Arthur S. Vernay with his bookplate, small bookplate of the American Museum of Natural History’s Sportsman’s Library with a cancelled stamp; overall an amazing copy. Item #16268
First edition. Issued in ten parts, this was the last of Elliott's great ornithological monographs, “a comprehensive treatment of the entire family of hornbills” (Zimmer). “The Bucerotidae are pretty equally divided at the present day between the Ethiopian and Oriental Regions, the first having twenty-seven and the latter twenty-nine species, while but a few, apparently the remaining representatives of a numerous race, are scattered about the islands of the Malay Archipelago” (Introduction). Plate 44, although included on the plate list, was never issued.
Elliot (1835-1915), an American zoologist, was one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. He produced a number of works on ornithology and comparative zoology, working with illustrators such as Joseph Wolf, Joseph Smit, and of course the celebrated J.G. Keulemans. Following this work Elliot concentrated more on the study of mammals, his time also being split because of his duties as curator of zoology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, a position he began in 1894.