Leiden and London: Brill & Porter, 1897. Folio. viii, 64,  pp. FIRST EDITION. With 22 chromo-lithographed plates. Original publisher’s pictorial green cloth, title in gilt to spine and top cover, with patterned end-papers; edges stained green. Label pasted on to the front paste-down indicating that this copy is No. 26 of 170 copies of this edition, with the stamp of the Librairie et Imprimerie ci-divant E.J. Brill with a signature. Item #16289
First edition of this beautifully illustrated work, which includes not only adult birds but also their chicks and their eggs. Taken from the birds living in the Amsterdam Zoological Garden in 1872, the illustrations were commissioned by G.F. Westerman (1807-90), the director of the Gardens. Westerman, wanting to enlighten the public as to the beauty of these birds, appointed the great German artist and illustrator Heinrich Leutemann (1824-1905), who created fifteen of the plates. As Westerman died before the monograph was completed, the Dutch naturalist Blaauw (1860-1936) stepped in and supplied the text, commissioning an additional seven plates by the renowned bird artist and illustrator J.G. Keulemans (1842-1912).
Only 170 copies were printed of this stunning work, of which ours is number 26.