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WILSON, Alexander (1766-1813) and Charles Lucien BONAPARTE (1803-1857). American Ornithology. Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, 1859-71.

WILSON, Alexander (1766-1813) and Charles Lucien BONAPARTE (1803-1857). American Ornithology. Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, 1859-71.

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WILSON, Alexander (1766-1813), George ORD (1781-1866), and Charles Lucien BONAPARTE (1803-1857). American Ornithology; or, The Natural History of the Birds of the United States. Philadelphia: Porter and Coates, 1859-71.

4 volumes. 8vo. (10 ½ x 7 ½ inches). 3 volumes of text, and 1 of illustrations. 103 fine engraved plates by Lizars after Wilson, Peale, and others. 21 of the Wilson plates with later hand-coloring, all with original tissue guards. Contemporary fine binding in half tan calf, gilt marbled paper boards, each cover decorated with borders of double gilt filets, the spines in 6 compartments with 5 raised bands with maroon and green morocco lettering pieces in two, the others decorated with fine gilt tools, top edges gilt the others uncut (spins a little darkened, extremities rubbed).

Unusual and rare edition with plates by Lizars, Audubon’s first engraver.

The so-called "Philadelphia edition" containing a revision of the original work (76 plates) combined with Bonaparte's continuation (27 plates). A bright and attractive edition, not often seen for sale. The first volume begins with a biographical sketch of Alexander Wilson, and particular to this edition is “a series of interesting letters, which were put into the writer’s hands by some of Wilson’s personal friends, who were anxious that these memorials should not be lost.” [From the introduction] [Reference: Nissen, Birds 997; Sitwell, Fine Bird Books, page 157.] Location code: NHR 2D.

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