First edition, published in 12 instalments and illustrated with 72 stipple engraved plates, printed in colours and finished by hand after drawings by the natural history artist Pauline de Courcelles.
This magnificently illustrated work describes and illustrates four ornthological species. The scientific text is written by Anselm-Gaëtan Desmarest.
“Under the individual forms figured on the beautifully executed plates the text contains a diagnosis in French and Latin, further synonyms, a description, brief or long, information of the geographical occurrence and other data of interest” (Anker).
“[Antoinette Pauline Jacqueline Knip’s] plates are impressive in their quality of coloring. Nissen states they are to be reckoned among the best achievements of ornithological art in books. She was a gifted pupil of Barraband, exhibited at the salon in 1808 and 1814, and began to paint birds. She accumulated 72 plates of exotics that were published, with a short text by A.G. Desmarest in 1805-07 in Paris under the title Histoire naturelle des Tangaras et des Todiers. Mlle de Courcelles became famous, married the Dutch flower painter Joseph August Knip in 1808, and began to make a collection of paintings of pigeons and to search for a special to write the text for her next book, Histoire naturelle des Pigeons” (Jackson).
Some occasional foxing, old ownership discretely erased; else a magnificent copy finely bound at the time.