A Monograph of the Meropidae, or family of the Bee-eaters

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A Monograph of the Meropidae, or family of the Bee-eaters

By Dresser, H. E.

SKU# 18252

$ 15,750.00

Pp. xix, (1), 1-40, 40a, 40b, 41-144, with 34 hand-colored lithographs after and by J. G. Keulemans, printed by Hanhart.  Contemporary one-half black morocco over dark green pebble cloth, spine with 5 raised band lettered in gilt in 3 compartments, original marbled endpapers, top page edge in gilt, folio (384 x 280mm; 15 x 11 inches).  Like many of the fine and rare bird books, Dresser published this monograph privately in five parts by subscription only; it is likely only 250 copies were printed.  Dresser wrote the descriptive text and Frank Beddard contributed notes on the anatomy of species.  The Meropidae, or family of Bee-eaters, with their bright and distinctive coloring, are related to the kingfishers.  As the name implies, the Bee-eaters are insectivorous and catch their prey on the wing.  Most species of bee-eaters are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea.  Ayer/Zimmer (p. 178) describes the hand-colored plates by Keulemans as “very fine.”  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.”  See also Fine Bird Books (1990), p. 92; McGill/Wood, 324; Nissen, IVB, 269; Nissen, SVB, 140.  This volume was first owned by H. H. Sharland of Devon. His oval name stamp is on p. 75: “Bequeathed by Sharland to North Devon Athenaeum”).  It was later owned by Canadian ornithologist David Lank with his small bookplate on the front endpaper.

Publisher Published by the author
Publisher Place London
Date Published 1884-1886
Date Published Estimated No
Edition First edition
Number of Volumes 1
Reprint No
Condition Near fine
Condition Description The outer page edges, title page and first few text pages show mild occasional foxing as does the final two pages of the index, the color plates are very bright and clean with no foxing, outer edge of final endpaper with slight fraying; a tight and clean copy in near fine condition.
Limited Edition