4to., (13 5/8 x 11 inches). (A bit spotted throughout). 4 fine engraved plates after Traviés with original hand color (browned). Contemporary brown pasteboard (rebacked, a bit worn).
Provenance: With manuscript ownership inscription (dated 1912), bookplate, and manuscript notes of British ornithologist David Bannerman (1886-1979). With ink stamp of “P. Friedlander & Sohn, Berlin” to front pastedown. With contemporary manuscript ownership inscription of German physician and ornithologist Gustav Hartlaub (1814-1900).
Volume 2 only of 9. First edition. The ornithological section from “Historie naturelle des Iles Canaries,” vol. 2 Zoology. The beautifully hand-colored engravings are after Traviés and include: Fringilla Teydea, nob.; Fringilla Canaria; Columba laurivora Nob.; and Fringilla Tintillon, nob. / Procellaria Columbina, nob.
Philip Barker-Webb was an English botanist who collected plants in Italy, Spain, and Portugal, and was the first person to collect in the Tetuan Mountains of Morocco. On his way to Brazil, he made what was supposed to be a brief visit to the Canary Islands, but ended up staying for a considerable amount of time and returned after his Brazil expedition. He published his results in the nine-volume “L’Histoire Naturelle des Iles Canaries,” of which the present book is one volume, which took 20 years to complete. Sabin Berthelot, a French naturalist and ethnologist who lived part of his life in the Canary Islands, co-authored this work. The third author, Alfred Moquin-Tandon, was a French naturalist and doctor. Over the course of his career he was professor of zoology at Marseille, professor of botany at Toulouse, studied the plants of the island of Corsica, and served as director of the Jardin des Plantes and the Academie des Sciences in Paris.
Edouard Travies (1809-1865), was a great ornithological illustrator. Travies' artistry represents a pinnacle in French ornithological illustration. Natural history, as a descriptive pursuit bent on identifying new species, demanded detailed illustrations. The minute precision of Traviès' work places him with the best of France's scientific artists. Traviès was born in Doullens, in the Somme district of France, in March 1809, the younger brother of the caricaturist Charles Joseph Traviès de Villier (1804-1859). Throughout his career he concentrated on natural history subjects, both in watercolor (he exhibited regularly at the Paris Salon between 1831 and 1866) and lithography. Unlike a number of his contemporaries, he was an artist both with the brush and on stone. Traviès' original watercolors were reproduced as both engravings and lithographs, which are considered among the best portraits of birds ever painted. The artist rendered the backgrounds fully, incorporating foliage, flowers, butterflies, as well as the birds themselves, all with considerable charm.