A Monograph of the Coraciidae, or the family of the Rollers
By Dresser, H. E.
Pp. xx, 111, with 27 fine hand-colored lithographic plates by and after J.G. Keulemans. Contemporary brown three-quarter morocco leather, spine has five raised bands lettered in gilt in three compartments, and with gilt decorative devices in four other compartments, richly marble endpapers, top page edges in gilt, folio (15 x 11.5 inches; 380 x 290 mm). This scarce monograph was issued in a limited edition of 250 copies only. The rollers are an Old World family, Coraciidae, of near passerine birds. The group gets its name from the aerial acrobatics some of these birds perform during courtship or territorial flights. Rollers resemble crows in size and build, and share the colorful appearance of kingfishers and bee-eaters. The two inner front toes are connected, but not the outer one (from Wiki). Casey Wood (McGill, p. 324) notes this work was a “companion volume to the author’s A Monograph of the Meropidae 1884-86. It is a thorough detailed study of the Rollers, the notes on the anatomy and osteology being supplied by Frank E. Beddard and the beautiful hand-colored drawings by J.G. Keulemans.” According to Jackson (Bird Illustrators p. 90) “The great value of Keulemans' work as an ornithological draughtsman lay in his sureness of design of the plate and his accuracy in portraying the birds themselves. The bird figures were carefully drawn and executed down to the last scales on the feet. The feathering was neatly delineated with the different plumes receiving sympathetic treatment, the fine soft under-plumage and the large flight feathers being equally well drawn.” The fine color plates in A Monograph of the Coraciidae certainly typify this description of Keulemans’ artistic style. See also Ayer/Zimmer, p. 178; Fine Bird Books (1990), p. 72; Nissen IVB 270; Nissen SVB 139. There is an armorial book plate of William Newall on the front pastedown; on the facing endpaper is the small book plate of Canadian ornithologist David Lank.
|published by the author
|Date Published Estimated
|Number of Volumes
|Small bump to the base of the leather spine with no effect to the text, a very bright and clean copy in fine condition.