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A monograph of the Trochilidae, or family of humming-birds

Author: John GouldHenry Constantine RichterGabriel BayfieldWilliam Matthew HartTaylor & Francis,All authors
Publisher: London : Published by the author, 26 Charlotte Street, Bedford Square, London : Printed by Taylor and Francis, Red Lion Court, Fleet Street. 1861.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Alfred Russel Wallace remarked of hummingbirds that they are, as regards the number of distinct kinds collected in a limited area, the most remarkable of all the families of birds. This, combined with their radiant plumages and amazing ability to feed while hovering, fascinated Europeans from the time the first specimens arrived from the New World. Gould was completely captivated, and became an omnivorous collector  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Pictorial works
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John Gould; Henry Constantine Richter; Gabriel Bayfield; William Matthew Hart; Taylor & Francis,; Hullmandel & Walton,; Walter & Cohn,
OCLC Number: 9648140
Notes: "The author reserves to himself the right of translation."
Originally issued in 25 parts,1849-1861; volume title pages were issued with last part and are all dated 1861. See Catalogue of the Edward E. Ayer Ornithological Library (cited below). Parts title pages are normally canceled in complete copies.
Illustrations: 360 full-page hand-colored lithographs, each accompanied by guard sheet and leaf (1 or 2 pages) of letterpress, except plate 131 (Trochilus colubris, ruby-throated hummingbird), accompanied by guard sheet and 2 leaves (4 pages) of letterpress. Illustrations sketched by Gould from specimens and drawn and lithographed by H.C. Richter; lithographs printed by Hullmandel & Walton and by Walter & Cohn. The colorists were Gabriel Bayfield (acknowledged in the Preface, v. 1, page vii) and W. Hart; for Hart, see Sharpe, Richard Bowdler. An analytical index to the works of the late John Gould, 1893, page xxi: "Mr. Hart commenced working for Mr. Gould in the summer of 1851, making the patterns for the 'Humming-birds' and colouring the metallic portions of the plates."
Gould's coloring technique, as demonstrated in the Great Exhibition of 1851, is described in Official descriptive and illustrated catalogue of the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851, v. 2, class 30, exhibitor 247, page 836: "Gould, J., 20 Broad Street, Golden Square, inventor. A new mode of representing the luminous and metallic colouring of the Trochilidae, or humming birds. The effect is produced by a combination of transparent oil and varnish colours over pure leaf gold, laid upon paper prepared for the purpose." See also Taylor, Tom. Aves, 2011, pages 41-42: "With the aid of novel techniques, such as painting over gold leaf with transparent watercolors, and depicting the birds, often in flight, amid luxuriant tropical flowers, [Gould] managed to give viewers of his plates a glimpse of his subjects' vivid spirit. In fact, one of the most distinctive qualities of the hummingbird's iridescence--the way a male's throat will suddenly flash with brilliance in just the right light--is often captured by Gould's coloring technique."
Volume 1 contains also title page, dedication, list of subscribers, preface, introduction and list of plates; volumes 2-5 contain also title page and list of plates. Plates are numbered only in the list of plates in each volume.
A supplement, issued in 5 parts between 1880 and 1887, was completed by R.B. Sharpe after Gould's death.
Volume 1: [2] leaves, cxxvii, [1] pages, [83] leaves : 41 illustrations; v. 2: [152] leaves : 75 illustrations; v. 3: [177] leaves : 87 illustrations; v. 4: [162] leaves : 80 illustrations; v. 5: [156] leaves : 77 illustrations.
Description: 5 volumes : 360 color illustrations ; 56 cm
Other Titles: Monograph of the Trochilidae, or family of hummingbirds
Monograph of the Trochilidae, or family of humming birds
Responsibility: by John Gould, F.R.S., F.L.S., V.P. and F.Z.S., M.E.S., F.R. Geog. S., M. Ray S., corr. memb. of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Turin; of the Soc. of the Museum of Nat. Hist. of Strasbourg; for. memb. of the Nat. Hist. Soc. of Nurnberg, and of the Imp. Nat. Hist. Soc. of Moscow; hon. memb. of the Nat. Hist. Soc. of Darmstadt; of the Nat. Hist. and the Nat. Hist. and Med. Socs. of Dresden; of the Roy. Soc. of Tasmania; of the Roy. Zool. Soc. of Ireland; of the Penzance Nat. Hist. Soc; of the Worcester Nat. Hist. Soc.; of the Northumberland, Durham, and Newcastle Nat. Hist. Soc.; of the Ipswich Museum; of the Orn. Soc. of Germany; of the Dorset County Museum and Library; of the Royal United Service Institution, etc. ; in five volumes.

Abstract:

"Alfred Russel Wallace remarked of hummingbirds that they are, as regards the number of distinct kinds collected in a limited area, the most remarkable of all the families of birds. This, combined with their radiant plumages and amazing ability to feed while hovering, fascinated Europeans from the time the first specimens arrived from the New World. Gould was completely captivated, and became an omnivorous collector of hummingbird specimens. His collection numbered in the thousands by the time he commenced work on this monograph, generally considered his masterpiece and one of the greatest of all bird books. Ironically, at the time he created this book he had never seen a living hummingbird (his first was a ruby-throat, seen in Philadelphia in 1857). But with the aid of novel techniques such as painting over gold leaf with transparent watercolors and depicting the birds, often in flight, amid luxuriant tropical flowers he managed to give viewers of his plates a glimpse of his subjects vivid spirit. In fact, one of the most distinctive qualities of the hummingbird's iridescence - the way a male's throat will suddenly flash with brilliance in just the right light - is often captured by Gould's techniques."--abebooks website.

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