American ornithology; or, The natural history of the birds of the United States . . . . ; American ornithology; or, The natural history of birds inhabiting the United States, not given by Wilson
Philadelphia: Bradford and Inskeep; Samuel Augustus Mitchell, I: 1808; 1810; II: 1825; 1828; 1828. Vols. I and II of nine volumes. Folio (350 x 265 mm); Vols. I, II, and III of four volumes. Folio (375 x 290 mm). iv (ie., vi), 158; v-xii, 13-167,  pp. Each volume with 9 numbered hand-coloured plates. FIRST EDITIONS. I. Contemporary half red roan over marbled boards, gilt spine; some wear to extremities, offsetting from plates. Ex-libris David Bixler and Lee Lawrence Stopple, with their bookplates. II. Contemporary half red roan over marbled boards, gilt spine; some wear to extremities, offsetting from plates. Ex-libris David Bixler and Lee Lawrence Stopple, with their bookplates. Item #4341
I. First edition of "the first truly great American ornithology . . . absolutely basic as a collector's item" (Bennett). Wilson's Ornithology was an artistic, scientific, and commercial undertaking of magisterial proportions. His plates depict 320 figures of 262 species, including 39 that were entirely new and 23 that were for the first time described sufficiently to distinguish them from European species with which they had been confused.
II. First edition with the rare first issue of Volume 1. The work was subsequently purchased by Carey, Lea, and Carey, and published under their aegis. Intended as a supplement to Wilson's American Ornithology, Bonaparte describes 60 birds supposedly not treated in the original work.