New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1863. Folio. 23 pp. FIRST EDITION. With 31 beautiful hand-colored lithographed plates after D. G. Elliot, E. Maubert, A. Mesnel and 1 unsigned plate after C.P. Tholey. Modern brown morocco, author and title in gilt on spine, a.e.g. Item #16290
First edition, a fine copy of Elliot’s beautiful paintings of the pittas, small Asian forest birds whose brilliant colors and bold patterns would be a treat for any artist. This was Elliot’s first publication with his own illustrations. He includes in every plate a showy flower, usually in shades that further enhance the vividness of each page. Elliot was able to portray the pittas with a tropical exuberance and animation as they variously pursue a shiny beetle, recoil from a pink-and-black snake, or take wing after a fly. Elliot’s chosen illustrator, Paul Louis Oudart, died after producing only four drawings. He thereafter created the remaining drawings except for one by Maubert and one by Mensel. A stunning work ornithological work.
Not in Anker; Nissen, IVB, 292; Sabin, 22228 (noting that only 200 copies were printed); Sitwell, p. 95; Casey Wood, p.332; Zimmer, p. 208.