The ornithology of Francis Willughby of Middleton in the county of Warwick Esq; fellow of the Royal... The ornithology of Francis Willughby of Middleton in the county of Warwick Esq; fellow of the Royal... The ornithology of Francis Willughby of Middleton in the county of Warwick Esq; fellow of the Royal...

The ornithology of Francis Willughby of Middleton in the county of Warwick Esq; fellow of the Royal Society. In three books. Wherein all the birds hitherto known, being reduced into a method sutable to their natures, are accurately described. The descriptions illustrated by most elegant figures, nearly resembling the live birds, engraven in LXXVII copper plates. Translated into English, and enlarged with many additions throughout the whole work. To which are added, three considerable discourses, I. Of the art of fowling: with a description of several nets in two large copper plates. II. Of the ordering of singing birds. III. Of falconry. By John Ray, fellow of the Royal Society

WILLUGHBY, Francis (1635-1672); John Ray (1627-1705)

Published by printed by A[ndrew]. C[larke]. for John Martyn, printer to the Royal Society, at the Bell in St. Pauls Church-Yard, 1678
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First Edition in English of "one of the most important treatises on ornithology of all time, being the first systematic classification of the birds of the world." (Wood). Folio: [12],53,[3],55-271,[3],273-441,[7]pp, with 80 leaves of plates, most unsigned but some credited to Thomas Browne and three by F. H. van Hove, two by W. Faithorne, and one by W. Sherwin; two full-page letterpress tables. The two engraved plates showing techniques and equipment for snaring birds, often bound at p. 28, are here grouped with the 78 numbered plates (depicting more than 200 species) at the end. An excellent example, beautifully bound to style in recent speckled and paneled calf, spine gilt in seven compartments divided by raised bands, end papers renewed, title page in red and black. Binding pristine, book block generally clean and unmarked with widely intermittent spotting, one table with short closed tear (no loss), several plates lightly foxed, one plate shaved at outer edge with trivial loss. Wing W2880. Nissen IVB 991. BM(NH) V, p.2331. Wood (McGill), p.629. Zimmer (Ayer Ornithological Library), pp. 676-78. Anker (Copenhagen) 532. Lowndes 2939. In the 1660's, John Ray and his pupil (and, later, patron) Francis Willughby toured the Continent, gathering material for their planned complete classification of the vegetable and animal kingdoms. After Willughby's early death in 1672, which deprived Ray of both a collaborator and a friend, Ray took over his notes, and, having edited the incomplete manuscript and added his own observations, published Francisci Willughbeii ornithologiae libri tres; totum opus recognovit, digressit, supplevit Joannes Raius, in 1676. The present work, a translation by Ray, was published two years later and includes three more plates than the Latin edition as well as an expanded text, including three additional sections by Ray on fowling, falconry, and songbirds. In all, Ray and Willughby described more than 230 species, which they had themselves observed. Ray's systemization was revolutionary (Zimmer calls it the "cornerstone of modern systematic ornithology"), preserving the broad division of land and water birds, but rather than subdividing functionally, on grounds of diet, singing ability, and other behavioral traits, he introduced a classification based on anatomy, using for criteria foot structure, beak form, and body size. In the preface, Ray writes that the plates, despite some difficulties in communication between himself and the engravers, "are the best and truest, that is, most like the live Birds, of any hitherto engraven in Brass." N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. Bookseller Inventory #

Bibliographic Details

Title: The ornithology of Francis Willughby of ...
Publisher: printed by A[ndrew]. C[larke]. for John Martyn, printer to the Royal Society, at the Bell in St. Pauls Church-Yard
Publication Date: 1678
Binding: Paneled Calf
Book Condition: Near Fine+
Edition: First Edition thus.

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