Monday 26 December 2022

Popular British Ornithology 1849 (1853)

The only book which Gosse wrote describing the birds of his native country.

It is one of the Popular Natural History Series, 24 volumes in all.

The spine floral gilt design is uniform throughout the series, in all but the very late cases, but the gilt design on the front board varies with the subject of the volume. The brass used to make the gilt impression on this volume is an exceptionally fine example of its kind.

The colour plates, which include more than seventy figures, were drawn and lithographed by Gosse, largely from specimens in the British Museum. and are of considerable quality. The figures were hand-coloured.

The second edition of 1853 differs from the first only by the addition of a half-title leaf and a list of plates.

Freeman and Wertheimer describe two case variants in the second edition, neither of which includes the variant held in my library, which is of green bead.

Apart from the colour of the boards, my book is the same as number 37 in Freeman and Wertheimer.

There is a binder’s ticket, Westley’s & Co, diamond shaped.