First edition, first printing. Original green cloth with titles in gilt to the upper board and spine and a gilt bird to the upper board. Top edge gilt. Profusely illustrated in black and white throughout. A very good copy, the binding square and firm with a white paint splash to the foot of the spine, a few minor scratches to the rear board, and a little bubbling to the cloth to the left of the upper board. The contents with the odd spot to the endpapers and the text-block edge are otherwise in good order, clean throughout and free from any previous owners' inscriptions or stamps. WITH four original pen and ink drawings by Duncan, consisting of a Ptarmigan (Winter Plumage), Kestrel, Female Kestral, and Bernacle Goose, two of which (the Kestral and Bernacle Goose) were used in the present work. The largest measures 30.5 x 19.5cm, each is signed and titled in ink, and three have marginal pencil notes regarding their re-sizing for publication. All four are in very good condition with a little spotting and marking to the margins, pin holes to the corners, and minor wear to the extremities.

Originally published over a ten year period in the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, Duncan's one-volume "Birds of the British Isles" offered a straightforward and strikingly produced overview of several hundred varieties of British bird, each with its own description and engraved image. A wonderfully illustrated ornithological guidebook, imbued with the spirit of Bewick (as explicitly acknowledged in the introduction), and accompanied by four charming original illustrations.

Stock code: 18070


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London: Walter Scott.


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