London: Rowland Ward, 1899. large 4to. xx, 612,  pp., which includes the half-title, the Supplement on the giraffe and okapi and the 2-page appendix on Ward’s. FIRST EDITION. With 15 colored plates, each with explanatory tissue guard, after J. Smit and numerous text illustrations. half title. Half morocco over marbled boards, gilt lettering on spine, marbled endpapers; an excellent copy from the Library of James M. Dolan Jr., former head curator and director of collections at the Zoological Society of San Diego with his small blind stamp on title, the contemporary ownership signature of W.F. Wailes-Fairbairn on the fly-leaf, and the stamp of the Nature Conservancy of Edinburgh. Item #16316
First edition of the most complete work on wild African mammals, number 377 of 500 copies signed by the publisher Rowland Ward. Many of the world’s most well-known hunters and explorers have material provided very valuable information to this work; Lord Delamere, Harry Johnston, Richard Lydekker, and F.C. Selous sent their contributions from the darkest wilderness of Africa, writing in places and under conditions not favorable to literary excellence. Notwithstanding, the work as a whole is considered one of the most sought-after books on big game. Bryden was the general editor, while Lydekker was the major contributor.
Lydekker (1849-1915) was an eminent English naturalist and one of the great names of zoogeographical inquiry. He joined the Geological Survey of India, which prepared him for his later position with the British Museum of Natural History. He was charged by the Museum to prepare catalogues of their fossil vertebrate collections. He published a number of works, including Catalogue of the Fossil Birds in the British Museum (1891), An Introduction to the Study of Mammals Living and Extinct (1891), and with W. H. Flower A Geographical History of Mammals (1896). Bryden (1854-1937) was a British athlete and sportsman that gave up a legal career to become a professional author on wildlife and hunting in Africa.