Edinburgh: W.H. Lizars, 1843. 8vo. xv, 17-277 pp. FIRST EDITION. With engraved frontispiece portrait, 29 (of 30) colored engraved plates, title page and separate hand-colored illustrated title, author’s advertising, text illustrations. Original cloth with gilt decoration on cover and gilt lettering on spine, small stain to front cover and spine sunned; interior excellent. From the Library of Dr. James M. Dolan Jr. with his blind-stamp on title. Item #16301
First edition of this beautiful monograph on sunbirds, part of Jardine’s monumental Naturalists' Library (1833-1843), the first successful attempt to make natural history accessible to the general public. Each volume is dedicated to a great naturalist, this one to Francis Willughby with his portrait on frontispiece followed by a short biography. Jardine describes the habits and the wonderful plumage of the family of birds “universally acknowledged to be among the most brilliant in plumage.” The plates, executed by James Stewart, illustrate all aspects of these beautiful birds. Sun-birds, which is Volume XIII, is one of the scarcer titles in the series.
Jardine (1800-1874), seventh Baronet of Applegarth, was a noted Scottish naturalist. His Naturalists’ Library consisted of forty volumes over a period of ten years.