(A “BIRD” to Some is “GAME” to Others). “Gentleman of Philadelphia County, A” [i.e.,
Jesse Y. Kester]. The American shooter's manual, comprising
such plain and simple rules, as are necessary to introduce the inexperienced
into a full knowledge of all that relates to the dog, and the correct use of
a gun; also a description of the game of this country. Philadelphia: Carey,
Lea & Carey, 1827. 12mo (18.5 cm; 7.125").  ff., pp. [ix]–249,
 p., [1 (errata)] f., [3 (ads)] ff.; frontis., 2 plts.
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The first American illustrated sporting
book and the first American sporting book written by an American.
Only one sporting book published in America preceded it: The Sportsman's
Companion (NY,1783; later editions Burlington [NJ], 1791, and Philadelphia,
1793), “by a gentleman, who has made shooting his favorite amusement upwards
of twenty-six years, in Great-Britain, Ireland, and North-America.”
Kester deals almost exclusively with game birds and waterfowl native to the Delaware
Valley that surrounds Philadelphia: wild turkeys, partridge, snipe, quail, grouse, and ducks. With
regard to rifles and guns he addresses cleaning, powder, wadding, etc. And when writing about
dogs, in addition to notes on training and conditioning them, he offers recipes for common
ailments and gun-shot wounds.
The plates are signed “F. Kearny,” an artist born in Perth Amboy, NJ, who studied
drawing with Archibald and Alexander Robertson and engraving with Peter Maverick. From
1810 to his death in 1833 he practiced engraving in Philadelphia.
There are two states of gathering “U”: this copy has the typographical error “tibbon” with
the stop-press correction to “ribbon” on p. 235.
The volume ends with advertisements for several sporting and fishing goods suppliers.
Shoemaker 27838; Howes K108; Henderson, American Sporting Books,
6; Phillips, Sporting Books, 21; Streeter Sale 4084; Bennett, Practical
Guide, 60–61. On Stauffer, American Engravers, I, 148–49.
Publisher's sprinkled sheep with simple rope roll in blind on board
edges, some abrasion to leather; round spine with gilt double rules forming
“spine compartments,” black leather title label. The usual light
and scattered foxing noted in all copies, nothing more. A very nice copy. (28553)
“The Birds in Miniature” with theMore Impressive Backgrounds
Audubon, John James, & William MacGillivray. The birds of America, from drawings made in the United States and their territories. New York: V.G. Audubon, Roe Lockwood & Son, 1859. 8vo (27.5 cm; 10.875"). 7 vols. I: [iii]–viii, , 12–246 pp., 70 plts. II: [iii]–vii, , 12–199 pp., 71–140 plts. III: [iii]–viii, , 10–233 pp., 141–210 plts. IV: [iii]–viii, , 10–321 pp., 211–280 plts. V: [iii]–viii, , 10–346 pp., 281–350 plts. VI: [iii]–viii, , 10–456 pp., 351–420 plts. VII: vii, , 10–372 pp., 421–500 plts.
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After Audubon (1785–1851) completed his landmark work The Birds of America and collaborated with Scottish naturalist William MacGillivray (1796–1852) to write the accompanying text Ornithological Biography, he elected to produce a “popular” edition by combining the images and text in an elegant and portable format — the octavo. For this essentially new work Audubon increased the number of colored plates from 435 to 500, reordered the text, and edited the content to include more ornithological information and less travel narration. Plates were produced through the camera lucida process, using a prism to trace reverse images from the elephant folio prints onto lithographic stones.
“The octavo edition of Audubon's Birds was probably the greatest commercial success of any color plate book issued in 19th-century America.” While it was not inexpensive, the price was such that the octavo “achieved widespread circulation and brought the work into the homes of many well-to-do Americans” (Reese, p. 58).
Present here is the third octavo edition, all title-pages bearing the date of 1859, and containing500 fine hand-colored lithographed plates by Philadelphian J.T. Bowen after J.J. and J.W. Audubon. Ayer notes that where backgrounds were plain in the first octavo they were tinted in later ones and that some already tinted backgrounds were attractively altered, with plates more closely approximating those of the elephant folio through the addition of more detailed scenery.
Catalogue of the Edward E. Ayer Ornithological Library, pp. 22–23; Reese, Stamped with a National Character, pp. 57–58. Brown publisher's leather, spine lettered in gilt and compartments with a blind device; covers triple-ruled and with an ornate arabesque frame containing the title, all in blind; binding lightly rubbed and refurbished. All edges gilt. One leaf with a curious internal closed tear, possibly created in the press, with no loss of text. Two pairs of plates transposed; five plates trimmed closely, in one case just touching type, in three cases with loss of publication information, and in one case with the line identifying the bird's perch partially lost in addition to partial loss of publication line. An excellent set of a splendid edition of one of the most influential color plate books of the 19th century. (36084)
“My Style of Drawing Birds”
Audubon, John James. My style of drawing birds. Ardsley, New York: The Overland Press for The Haydn Foundation, 1979. Tall 8vo (29.2 cm; 11.5"). 26 pp.,  ff., illus., facsims.
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Consists of two essays: “My style of drawing birds,” published in M. Audubon's Audubon and his journals, 1897; and “Method of drawing birds,” published in the Edinburgh Journal of Science, v. 8, 1828. The original manuscript is presented in fine facsimile showing several authorial corrections and emendations of the first draft, and with a transcription and an introduction. Limited to 400 copies.
Original green cloth stamped and lettered in gilt; spine lightly sunned, lines or streaks of staining around board edges, top edge soot-darkened with a few upper margins a little affected. Though the price is much reduced here, recognizing faults, the book is actually less “reduced” than the price is! (37515)
TwoLARGE Volumes 106 Color Plates
Eaton, Elon Howard. Birds of New York. Albany: University of the State of New York, 1910. Large 4to. 2 vols. I: 501 pp., 42 plts. II: 719 pp., 64 plts.
Louis Aggasiz Fuertes ranks among the best illustrators in American ornithology and his 106 plates in this massive study richly show why he is held in high esteem. His work here is an effort to update the James DeKay bird volumes of the famous and monumental, 30-volume Natural History of New York (1844). Certainly Eaton's desire to update that classic work was justified, given the changes in knowledge and ecology that had occurred in the 60 years between DeKay's volumes on the birds of New York and 1910.
This publication is Memoir 12 of the New York State Museum. The plates are photomechanicals in full color.
Publisher's cloth. Text starting to separate at the rear of vol. II at the point of the last plate; text separation is an endemic problem to this work, for it is printed on heavy, coated stock and the plates are on extra-heavy paperall of which is "bound" using modern technology with modern sewing. This is a good, solid, used but not abused set. (2709)
The Secret Is in Their Eyes — Five Volumes as Here Bound — Hundreds of Engravings
Including the work of Fuseli & Blake
Lavater, John Caspar. Essays on physiognomy, designed to promote the knowledge and the love of mankind ... illustrated by more than eight hundred engravings accurately copied; and some duplicates added from originals. London: Printed for John Murray, No. 32, Fleet-Street; H. Hunter, D.D. Charles's-Square; and T. Holloway, No. 11, Bache's-Row, Hoxton, 1789–98. 4to in 2's (34.1 cm, 13.4"). 3 vols. in 5. I:  ff., iv, , 281 pp. (i.e., 285); 15 plates. II, part 1: xii, 238 pp.; 45 plates. II, part 2:  ff., pp. –444; 47 plates. III, pt. 1: xii, 252 pp.; 25 plates. III, pt. 2:  ff., pp. 253-437 (i.e., 181 pp.),  pp.; 42 plates.
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First edition in English ofLavater's study of character based on physical attributes. Originally published in German (Physiognomische Fragmente, 1775–78), these influential Essays were translated into English by Henry Hunter (1741–1802) from the subsequent French edition (La Haye, 1781-87), and published in 41 parts under the direction of Royal Academy artists Henry Fuseli (1741–1825) and Thomas Holloway (1748–1827), who both contributed illustrations. In fact, Lavater (1741–1801), a Swiss priest and poet, had no part in the new publication; Hunter arranged the endeavor with Holloway and publisher John Murray without the consent of the author, who learned of the project after it had gone to press, and objected, fearing a new edition would subtract from sales of the old.
These books contain over 360 engraved illustrations in the text and 132 full-page engraved plates, many of which Holloway copied directly from the French edition; it's the multiple images on the full-page plates that produce the proud claim of “more than 800 engravings” on the title-page. They includeportraits of famous wrinkled writers, philosophers, musicians, monarchs, statesmen, and Lavater himself; silhouettes of Jesus and portraits of Mary; details of male, female, and animal/BIRD attributes; and skulls, hairlines, eyes, noses, and mouths, among other features, engraved by Holloway, Fuseli, William Blake (1757–1827), James Neagle (1765–1822), Anker Smith (1759–1819), James Caldwall (1739–ca. 1819), Isaac Taylor (1730–1807), and William Sharp (1749–1824), inter alios, after works of art by Rubens, Van Dyke, Raphael, Fuseli, LeBrun, Daniel Chodowiecki (1726–1801). The commentary on these images makes this a work ofart history/criticism, as Lavater is both free and detailed in his notes of how various artists handle details of physiognomy and body language to express character and engender beauty.
The first systematic treatise on physiognomy was written by Aristotle. Publications on the subject continued steadily throughout the ages, although the developing study of anatomy in the 17th century detracted interest from what later came to be known as pseudoscience. Lavater's is the only notable treatise in the 18th century, and indeed, “. . . [his] name would be forgotten but for [this] work,” which was very popular in France, Germany, and England (EB).
Provenance: Bookplate of Nicholas Power on front pastedown of all five volumes (related to Richard Power, Esq., of Ireland, listed as a subscriber?); and bookplate of Gordon Abbott on front free endpaper of three volumes, engraved by J.W. Spenceley of Boston in 1905.
Wellcome, III, 458; Garrison-Morton 154; ESTC T139902; Lowndes II, p.1321 (“a sumptuous edition”); Osler, Bib. Osleriana, p. 283, no. 3178; Bentley Blake Books 481; Ryskamp, William Blake, Engraver, 22. On the parts, see: Arents Collection of Books in Parts, p. 74. Contemporary calf ruled and tooled in gilt and blind with gilt board edges and gilt turn-ins, rebacked old style; marbled edges, and blue silk marker in all volumes. Extremities rubbed and corners bumped with small loss to leather. At least one small marginal tear in each volume; offsetting from letterpress on a few leaves; very mild to quite moderate foxing (or none) on illustrations, offset onto surrounding leaves; and other occasional minor stains. Most plates protected by tissue. A monument of labor, art, and excellent “system” devoted to an exploded but fascinating theory; in fact, a wonder. (30974)
The Owl Knows How to ReconcileFarmer & Crows
Lionni, Leo. Six crows. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988. 4to (28.5 cm, 11.25").  pp.; col. illus.
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First edition, first issue: A fable with a gentle message about using words to make peace, illustrated in Lionni's iconic paper collage style.
Publisher's quarter ivory cloth and black paper–covered sides in original color-printed dust-jacket; jacket with cream areas (including spine) very slightly darkened, extremities lightly rubbed, back panel with short tear from upper edge, volume with minimal wear to extremities. A pleasing copy of a classic from an award-winning children's author/illustrator. (34435)
Kendrew “Penny Book” Chapbook in the 16-Page Format
Polly, Miss, & Master Tommy. A collection of birds and riddles. York: J. Kendrew, Printer, [ca. 1820]. Near miniature (10 cm, 3.75"). 16 pp.; illus.
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Miss Polly and Master Tommy present the reader with anear-miniature chapbook with alternating riddles and verses on birds, the whole illustrated with15 wood engravings. As is so common with “penny books,” this has no publication date but we use that suggested by the Osborne collection.
Kendrew issued “penny books” in 16-page and 32-page series: “The sixteen-page books differ from the longer in that nearly all of them are wholly in verse. . . . There is a more lavish use of wood-engravings than in the larger books. In general the illustrations are smaller. . . . The impression given by the content and appearance of these books is that they were intended for younger children or perhaps for children to read themselves, whereas the thirty-two-page and twenty-four-page books were intended to be read to children by adults” (Davis, p. 34).
Provenance: From the children's book collection of Albert A. Howard, sans indicia.
Osborne Collection, p. 57; Davis, Kendrew of York, pp. 33–35, & checklist #5. Stitched as issued, in yellow self-wrappers. Clean and crisp. (38909)
Mid-19th-Century Music forthe Young
Russell, Benjamin A., & Charles Walton Sanders. The robin red breast; a new juvenile singing book. New York: Ivison & Phinney; Chicago: S.C. Griggs & Co.; Buffalo: Phinney & Co.; et al., 1855. Oblong 8vo. 199,  pp.
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“Containing a choice collection of popular music, original and selected, arranged for one, two, three, and four voices, mostly with piano accompaniments,” according to the title-page. Following a brief introduction to musical theory, this children's songbook opens with “The Boy and the Robin”; the subsequent selections tend notably towards “what adults think children should sing” rather than “what children actually enjoy singing.”
This is the second edition, following the (scarce) first of 1852; the front cover differs from the title-page in giving the publication information as Chicago.
Provenance: Front pastedown with several early pencilled inscriptions, including one reading “To Vestilla from W.B. Lear, July 13th 1857.” A folded section from a smaller hymnal is laid in.
Publisher's quarter sheep and printed paper–covered boards; binding darkened and rubbed, front joint starting from head, front cover creased. Front free endpaper partially excised and back free endpaper lacking; front pastedown with inscriptions as above, back pastedown with early inked annotations and numerals. First three leaves with central tear affecting several words. Laid-in hymnal pages with upper edges chewed. Moderate foxing and intermittent waterstaining; some corners dog-eared. Interesting for its graphically appealing cover and the array of its “juvenile” repertoire choices. (30255)
LOUISA Learns aLife Lesson
The tame goldfinch, or, The unfortunate neglect. Philadelphia: Jacob Johnson, 1808. 16mo (13.5 cm, 5.25"). 36 pp.; 3 plts., illus.
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A tale of a young child's hard lesson about caring for a pet, a pet that dies because of the child's neglect. The lesson to be learned: “Responsibility before play.”
Printed with rather notable neatness, and “embellished with three copper-plate engravings.”
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel (“AHA”) at rear.
Shaw & Shoemaker 16281; Rosenbach, Children; 381; Welch, American Children’s Books, 1290. Original publisher's marbled paper over light boards, starting to separate along joints. Light age-toning only. A nice copy. (38481)
“With Sorrow Did Jane Go, To Her Uncheering Home”
The tragi-comic history of the burial of Cock Robin; with the lamentation of Jenny Wren; the Sparrow's apprehension; and the Cuckoo's punishment.... Philadelphia: Benjamin Johnson (J. Probasco, pr.), 1821. Square 12mo. 16 pp., 8 plts.
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“This is not Who killed Cock Robin, but a poem on that story,” Dr. R explains. Present is an excellent reprinting of the first American edition of 1811, taken from the first English edition (London: J. Harris, 1808). As there, the plates are well-done metal engravings; as there, the first and last plates are pastedowns and the plates are browned. According to the cataloguers at the American Antiquarian Society, the illustrations may well be by William Charles (1776–1820), a caricaturist, engraver, and publisher of children's books.
Rosenbach, Children, 616; Shoemaker 5013. Original pale salmon-colored paper over light paste boards. Interior uniformly browned as is typical and with some off-setting from the plates. (31500)
Scots Verse from the Author-Illustrator of
[Wilson, Alexander]. [drop-title] The loss of the pack; to which is added The pack's address. [Paisley: G. Caldwell, 1868?]. 16mo (15 cm, 5.88"). 8 pp.
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A pair of poems about wandering peddlers and their gear (that is metaphorically to say, their burdens in life — primarily poverty and thwarted love), written in a heavy Scots dialect. The Scottish-born Wilson (1766–1813 ) was briefly a packman himself, before emigrating to America and achieving fame as an ornithologist. He first published The Loss of the Pack in 1795; the publication information for the present copy is suggested by WorldCat.
NSTC 2W24750. Removed from a nonce volume. Pages age-toned. An unusual ephemeral literary item from the man known as the “Father of American ornithology.” (37236)
From the Chinchilla to the New Holland Cereopsis . . .
Illustrated & Educational!
Zoological Society of London; Edward Turner Bennett, ed. The gardens and menagerie of the Zoological Society delineated. Chiswick: Printed by Charles Whittingham for Charles Tilt, 1831. 8vo (22 cm, 8.625"). 2 vols. I: xii, 308 pp.; illus. II: viii, 328 pp.; illus.
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An illustrated and encyclopedic survey of the animals held by the Zoological Society of London, organized into two volumes, one for quadrupeds and the other for birds. Each animal's entry is illustrated with a wood engraving of the subject drawn by William Harvey, one of Bewick's favorite pupils, and engraved by Branston and Wright but “assisted by other artists”; plates are signed G.B., S.S., T.W., or J.J. There are also occasional whimsical vignettes depicting more colorful occurrences, such as a cherub playing with a jaguar and her cubs. Bennett (1797–1836) — remembered for bringing four living giraffes to London, among other accomplishments on behalf of the Zoological Society — designed this work with a nonscientific audience in mind.
This is thefirst edition, with the variant title-page (tipped in) giving Tilt as publisher as opposed to Thomas Tegg, N. Hailes, and John Sharpe.
Provenance: From the library of American collector Albert A. Howard; small booklabel (“AHA”) at rear of each volume.
On Bennett, see: DNB (online). 19th-century hunter green–patterned calf, spines lettered in gilt, covers framed in blind triple fillets with daisies at corners, nonpareil-style marbled endpapers, all edges gilt; bindings gently rubbed, a bit moreso to evenly sunned spines. Light age-toning with only a handful of stains, moderate foxing on endpapers and title-pages. Booklabels as above. Fun and impressive both to look at and to read. (38657)
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