Folio, (14 1/3 x 11 inches). Fine lithographed frontispiece, 118 lithographed plates, tissue guards present (one or two spots). Original publisher’s full brown calf, the front cover elaborately decorated and lettered in gilt, the spine in six compartment with five raised bands, gilt-lettered in two and decorated in the rest, gilt inner dentelles, all edges gilt (rebacked to style, corners repaired).
First book edition. With 119 consecutively number plates depicting over 700 species and varieties of American birds. Jacob Henry Studer was a printer, lithographer, painter, and popular ornithologist active in Columbus, Ohio from the 1860s to the 1880s. A member of the American Ornithologists’ Union, Studer arranged the birds in this book according to that group’s classification scheme. Known as “the poor man’s Audubon,” this was the first large-format illustrated bird identification book that was affordable for a wider audience. It is fitting, therefore, that the medium employed was lithography, “the democratic art.” The plates were made from drawings by Theodore Jasper (1814-1897), a portrait painter and photographic colorist who was active in New York and Connecticut from the 1840s to the 1860s, and in Columbus, Ohio from c. 1866 to 1883. A very attractive copy. Nissen 473.