Rare first edition, first issue of American Ornithology by Charles Lucian Bonaparte.
Folio, [four volumes]. Half red morocco with marbled boards, title gilt-lettered on spines with gilt embellishments. Bindings professionally restored with all volumes rehinged plus corners and spine ends repaired, Volume I rebacked with original spine laid down. Twenty-seven hand-colored engravings by Alexander Lawson with tissue covers, some toning and an occasional finger mark but colors bright, chipped edges of plate 25 repaired with tissue. As usual with this set, some offsetting of plates to text as well as toning and foxing which is light in Volume I, but more moderate in Volumes II, III and IV. Archival repairs made to closed tears on pages 79-84 of Volume I and endpaper edges of Volume II. Faint remnant of a bookplate on front pastedown of all four volumes. (Bennett 16) (Coues 1:609) (Ellis/Mengel 312a-b) (Fine Bird Books, 1990 p. 78) (Sabin 6264) (Wood 247) (Zimmer p. 64) A handsome example of this important ornithological work intended to be a supplement to Alexander Wilson’s nine-volume American Ornithology published between 1808 and 1814.
This set of Bonaparte’s American Ornithology is a first edition, first issue with the Samuel Augustus Mitchell imprint in Volume I. Volumes II and II were published by Carey, Lea & Carey and Volume IV by Carey & Lea. All four volumes were printed by William Brown. This copy contains the corrected Plate 6 with Crimson-necked Bullfinch / Pyrrhula Frontalis found in the caption (as noted in Ellis/Mengel, page 161).