Folio (20 x 13 6/8 inches)
- "The most famous color-plate book of American plant and animal life & [and] a fundamental and original work for the study of American species" (Hunt).
- Second edition, revised by the ornithologist and artist George Edwards (1694-1773), text and plates on paper with various watermarks, first 20 text leaves of volume 2 with page numerals corrected by hand, as often; "DU" on title-page corrected by hand.
As a young man George Edwards soon found himself in the company of the most influential natural historians, collectors and artists of the 18th-century. Among Edwards' first patrons was Sir Hans Sloane, and he was allegedly taught to etch by Mark Catesby, he worked with the Bartrams of Philadelphia and Linnaeus in Sweden. The first volume of his own "A Natural History of Uncommon Birds" was published to great acclaim in 1743, and gained him nomination for fellowship of the Royal Society although he withdrew his candidacy. Second and third volumes followed in 1747 and 1750 which won him the coveted Copley medal of the Royal Society. The last volume appeared in 1751 at which time he stated that age and infirmity precluded further work. However in 1758 he published the first volume of his "Gleanings of Natural History", the second in 1760, after which he sold his entire portfolio to the Marquess of Bute,"resigned as bedell to the College of Physicians, and retired to a house in Plaistow. From there he still visited the college and the Royal Society and, stimulated by his drawings of South American birds captured from the French by Earl Ferrers, published a last volume of "Gleanings." in 1764.
Offered at $550,000