Calcutta: Published by the Authors, 1880. Three volumes. 4to. [ii], 2, , ii, 279; [ii], ii, 264; [ii], ii, 438, vi pp., including lithographed title pages in each volume and index in Volu. FIRST EDITION. Tipped in slip with printed publisher’s information in first two volumes, plus additional tipped in slip “To the Reader” in Volume I. With 144 chromolithograph plates, including 4 plates of eggs. Publisher’s original cloth, Volume I rebacked, gilt illustrations on each cover, title, authors and volume numbers in gilt on covers and spines. Overall an excellent, very clean copy with bright plates. Item #16322
First edition. This landmark treatise consists of an in-depth study of nearly 150 birds found in Indian sub-continent. Hume (1829-1912), one of the founders of the Indian National Congress, the political party that lead the movement for Indian independence, was a notable ornithologist. He accumulated the largest collection of Asiatic birds in the world, intending to produce a publication on all the birds of India. However, returning from a trip in 1883 he found that much of his manuscript was sold off by his servants. He did publish this three-volume set, with the help of contributions and notes from over two hundred correspondents. Hume was also the founder and editor of Stray Feathers, a quarterly journal on birds across the Indian continent, wherein he first published many of his discoveries of new species. Marshall (1841-1927) was a British army officer serving in India. Marshall’s contribution was to get the plates produced in London and brought back to India. The enticing illustrations are by Stanley Wilson, E. Neale, C. Davenport, W. Foster, A. W. Strutt and others.
Nissen, IVB, 463; Sitwell, p. 108; Casey Wood, p. 394.