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Details about  1868 - Cecil's book of Birds - S. H. Peabody - 1st ed. Rare Hand painted plates

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1868 - Cecil's book of Birds - S. H. Peabody - 1st ed. Rare Hand painted plates
Item Ended
Item condition:
--not specified
10 May, 2014 05:00:01 BST
Winning bid:
US $36.00
Approximately £23.07(including postage)
13 bids ]
US $17.95 (approx. £11.50) USPS First Class Mail Intl / First Class Package Intl Service | See details
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Item location:
Canterbury, Connecticut, United States


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Last updated on  03 May, 2014 17:23:57 BST  View all revisions

Item specifics

Binding: Hardcover Origin: American
Subject: Outdoor & Nature Country/Region of Manufacture: United States
Topic: Ornithology Year Printed: 1867
Special Attributes: Illustrated









Being offered at auction is a very rare 1868 edition of Selmin Peabody’s “Book of Birds.” No other copy of this first edition could be found that has 6 beautiful hand-painted steel engravings with an additional 5 fine uncolored steel engravings.  Peabody (1829-1903) was the author of a serious of juvenile natural history books (among other works) titled “Cecil’s Books of Natural History (after his son, Cecil).  The 1st editions "Cecil's Books" all appeared in in the same year-- 1868, and were published published by Clarke and Co.  These were issued in single volumes – “Ceicil’s Book of Beasts,” “Cecil’s Book of Birds,” and “Cecil’s book of Insects.” These 3 titles were reprinted  by John B. Alden Co., in 1884 under one cover--which edition is most usually seen on the market. The "Cecil" series was named after the author's son, "Cecil."

Color plates:  1) Bob-o-link (with painting error).  2)  Downy Woodpecker. 3) Group of Humming Birds.  4)  Mocking Bird (There is a tare on this engraving near the hinge that has been neatly repaired with professional archival tape.  5)  Tricolored-Crested Cockatoo. 6)  White Throated Sparrow. 

Uncolored engravings:  1)  Crowned Pigeon.  2)  Carrion Crow.  3) Snow Owl with Owlets.  4) Belted Kingfisher. 

CONDITION:  1868, 1ST edition in original green boards with blind-stamped gilt titling and embellishments to the front panel and spine.  5” x 7 ¼” tall. 234 pp.  Boards and all pages are tight and sound.  Large, beautiful ornate drop caps at the beginning of each chapter.  1st colored engraving of the Bob-O-Link appears originally intended to have been completely painted, but a mistake was made with paint drops outside the appropriate areas and the piece was left  unfinished.  The rest of the colored plates are all beautifully done and detailed.  Uncolored plates are beautiful as well. 

Protective tissue in tact with all plates but one. No signatures or underlining. Dark chocolate endpages. Front loose endpage is missing.  There is a small tare on the title page that has been neatly repaired with professional archival tape.  Pages show some occasional light foxing and here-and-there small age spots as may be noted in accompanying photos.  Boards are sturdy showing light edge-wear to the extremities with fraying to the corner tips and spine crown and foot edges. A couple of light spots show on panels otherwise the book is in very good condition. 

A very rare copy of Cecil’s Book on Birds with 6 hand colored plates. 

PAYMENT: Paypal.

Excerpt re Sparrows: a knob of the tree, that only a practiced nest-hunter would perceive it. The female is very cautious when going to the nest. When she is near it she rises high in the air, out of sight, and then drops quickly down in the place, before one who is watching would be done looking where she vanished. The nest is woven of the cotton-like wings of certain seeds, like the downy thistle. These are wrought into a strong soft wall, and are. covered with the mosses which grow near by on the stems of the tree. In this tiny bed, lined with the wool from the mullen stalk, the bird lays two little pearly eggs. We have already mentioned Mr. Webber s Ruby-throats, which he let loose occasionally to hunt for spiders. He caught them by tempting them into a room with vases of fresh flowers, and then closing.the window after them. Several injured themselves by dashing against the window pane. Finally one was caught in the hand, and when he came to look at it, the little fellow pretended to be dead. It lay on the open palm for some minutes without any motion; then gently opened one of its bright eyes to see if the way was clear, and closed it again when it saw its captor watching it. A mixture of two parts of loaf sugar, one of honey, and ten of water, was brought, and a drop was touched to the point of its bill. In an instant it came to life, and was on its feet, sipping the food from a spoon. When it had taken enough, it sat upon the finger, and  plumed its wings as if quite at home. By the next day it would come from any part of the room, alight on the edge of the china cup which held its food, and drink eagerly, thrusting in its bill to the very base. A family of these birds, which Mr. Webber had tamed, migrated at the usual season. . .

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