Pp. 75 leaves (un-numbered); 42 double-page hand-colored plates, 63 single-page hand-colored plates, 1 page of Japanese printing at the front and rear of each volume (page at the rear has two red seals), all pages within black frames. Original salmon-colored patterned wrappers, with original printed title label on the front of each cover, string-bound in Japanese-style (fukuro-toji), in original bone-clasped chitsu case, covered in dark blue silk, with printed title label on the front cover, lg 8vo (250 x 177 mm). This is the complete rare first edition of Numata's wood block prints of birds in their native habitats colored by hand. Numata's illustrations place much more emphasis on birds than on plants and, indeed, sometimes omit the latter entirely or present the plants in outline form only. The pages in these three volumes are imprinted with mica in Japanese double construction, and there is considerable usage of gauffrage in the production of the attractive plates. A previous owner has attached a very small typewritten label in the upper outer margin of each plate that lists the common name in English of each bird. Kashu Numata (1838-1901) came from Nagoya and was sufficiently well known that he received an imperial commission. This first printing of his work by Kinkado, published in 1885 (18th year of Meiji), is very rare. No ownership marks. One tissue guard with small piece missing from the bottom outer corner, chitsu case with edge wear and some color restoration at corners; a bright and clean copy in near fine condition. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: Shucho Gafu (=Pictorial Monograph of Birds),...
Publisher: Tokyo: Kinkado, . First edition.
Publication Date: 1885
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