A History of the Birds of Ceylon, in three parts
By Legge, Captain W. Vincent
Pp. xlvi, (2), 1237, frontispiece hand-colored engraved map by E. Weller, 34 hand-colored plates of birds by J.G. Keulemans, 12 wood-cut illustrations (one is full page anatomical drawing of a crow). The three parts are bound in three volumes as issued. Finely bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe in three-quarter dark red morocco over pale red cloth boards, spine with five raised bands, gilt-lettered in three compartments, top page edge in gilt, sm folio (12.75 x 10.25 inches; 33 x 26.5 cm). "This work gives a comprehensive account of the birds of the area and is intended as a text-book for the local student and collector in Ceylon. Our knowledge of the avifauna of the island is considerably increased by this work, which deals with altogether 371 species, two of which are introduced birds. The author has added 24 new species to the list of the birds of Ceylon, and mentions 47 species as peculiar to the island. The fine plates, colored by hand, were executed from drawings by J.G. Keulemans" (Anker 284). W. Vincent Legge (1841-1918) was commissioned into the Royal Artillery and stationed in Ceylon from 1868 to 1877. This is where he developed his love for ornithology; upon his return to England he started work on this magnificent monograph. Legge was able to sell the work to 247 wealthy subscribers; this insured both the high production quality and the completion of the work. For additional information, please see Fine Bird Books (1990), pg. 115; Nissen pg. 539; Zimmer, pg. 382; and Wood pg. 430. From the library of California industrialist Milton S. Ray with his custom book plate on the front endpaper of each volume.
|Publisher||Published by the Author|
|Date Published Estimated||No|
|Number of Volumes||1|
|Condition Description||The text and plates are very bright and clean with no foxing or browning; a tight copy in fine condition in a magnificent fine binding.|