American Ornithology by Alexander Wilson and Charles Lucian Bonaparte, large paper copy published by Chatto and Windus of London.
Quarto, [three volumes], cv, , 408pp; vii, , 495pp; vii, , 540pp. Red cloth, rebacked with original gilt-decorated morocco spine laid down on new leather. Top edge gilt. Brown endpapers. Solid binding, hinges reinforced. Complete with all 103 hand-colored plates of birds, even toning and occasional foxing, brightly colored. Also includes frontispiece portrait of Wilson with tissue cover in Volume I. Light foxing throughout text and along page ends, some offsetting of plates to text in Volume II. Shelf wear along bottom edge of boards and corners, minor soiling and chipping to cloth. Binder’s ticket for W. Bone & Son of London on rear pastedown endpapers. Bookplate of the Bill Memorial Library on the front pastedown endpaper of each volume, no other library markings. Signature of Frederic Bill of Groton, Connecticut on half-title of all three volumes. (Fine Bird Books, 1990 p. 157) (Wood 631) (Zimmer p. 685) A nice set.
Chatto and Windus issued their 1876 edition of Wilson’s American Ornithology with Bonaparte’s supplement in both octavo and quarto formats. This copy is the quarto, which was printed on large paper measuring 8.5″ x 11″ with hand-colored plates.The Bill Memorial Library was founded by Frederic Bill (1933-1920) of Groton, Connecticut in 1888. The Library was dedicated to Frederic Bill’s sisters Eliza and Harriet and opened with an initial collection of around 1700 books selected by Bill. Frederic Bill had been a book publisher prior to the Civil War, and after the war, a linen goods manufacturer. He retired from business in the mid-1870s.