Soffer Ornithology Collection Notes (alphabetical by author)

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Van Fleet, Dr. W(alter). (illustrated by Howard H. Darnell). Some  native birds  for  little folks 

Van Someren, V(ictor)G(urner)L(ogan)(1886-). The Birds of East Africa  

Van Someren, R.(obert)A.(braham)L.(ogan) and Someren, V.(ictor)G.(urner)L.(ogan) (1886-). Studies  of  birdlife in Uganda

Van Tyne, Jossely (1903(?)-1957), Berger, Andrew J.(ohn)(1915-). Fundamentals of ornithology 

Vaurie, Charles (d. 1975). Taxonomy and geographical distribution of the Furnariidae (Aves, Passeriformes) 

Vaurie, Charles (d. 1975). Tibet and its birds 

Verreaux, Édouard (1810-1869). Catalogue d'oiseaux

Verreaux (Jules P.[1807-1873]), Milne-Edwards (Alphonse [1835-1900]) Collection of six ornithological tracts

 (Vieillot, Louis Jean Pierre [1748-1831]). Faune Française  ou  histoire  naturelle, générale et particulière  des animaux  qui se trouvent  en France…

Vieillot, L(ouis)(Jean) P.(ierre) [1748-1831], Oudart, P(aul)[1796-?]. La galerie  des oiseaux 

Vieillot, Louis Jean Pierre (1748-1841). Songbirds of the torrid zone 

Vigil, Carlos. Aves Argentinas  y Sudamericanas

Vigors, Nicholas Aylward (1785-1840), Horsfield, Thomas (1773-1859) A description of the Australian birds in the collection of the Linnean Society; with an attempt at arranging them according to their natural affinities

Viney, Clive (text), and Karen Phillipps (illustrations). A colour guide to  Hong Kong  birds.

Vornberger, Cal  Birds of Central Park

Van Fleet, Dr. W(alter). (illustrated by Howard H. Darnell)

Some / native birds / for / little folks  27.7 x 21.3 cm.  No signatures.  Pp. (2, blank)[1-13]14-147(1).  Original publisher's blue-gray cloth with embossed black design and ornate gilt title and decoration on upper cover, gilt lettering to spine.  Endpapers with green floral motif.  New York, Forest & Stream Publishing Co., 1888.  The initial blank has pencilled signature of Mabel V. Meginness dated 1888.

1, Half-title; 2, blank; 3, title page printed in blue gravure; 4, copyright 1888, Forest & Stream Publishing Co.; 5, contents; 6, blank; 7, list of illustrations; 8, repeat copyright; 9, preface; 10, blank; 11-147, species accounts.  Contains title page and 14 other unnumbered plates printed on one side only in blue, black or sepia photogravure by Gebbie & Husson Co. Ltd.  The plate leaves are included in the pagination and the plates are delimited by an inconspicuous plate margin as though impressed.

This is a work for children in which accurate classification and life histories are presented in simple language.  The species include: robin; chickadee; kingfisher; great horned owl; bobolink; blue jay; woodcock; nuthatches; meadow lark; ruffed grouse; cedar bird; killdeer; summer duck; and crossbills.  All are illustrated and although not noteworthy as art, the plates are remarkable as very early, and perhaps the first of American birds to be reproduced in photogravure.

Walter Van Fleet contributed an article, Notes on the rough-winged swallow in Pennsylvania, to the first issue of the Nuttall Ornithological Bulletin in 1876.  Harvard lists a Walter Van Fleet, (1857-1922) who wrote on the cultivation of various herbs during the early 20th century.

The book seems to be scarce and is certainly so in ornithological collections.  It is listed by the Library of Congress from an old catalog but is unlisted by: AMNH, Braislin, Cornell, Harvard, Melvyl; Smithsonian; Thayer; Trinity; Wood; Yale; Zimmer.

Van Someren, V(ictor)G(urner)L(ogan)(1886-)

The Birds of East Africa / A collection of lithographs prepared / from the originals drawn from nature / by V. G. L. van Someran between the / years 1909 and 1937  26.8 x 21.2 cm.  Unpaginated (4 Preliminary leaves, colored plates 1-93 and colored portrait all on separate leaves and each with tissue leaf of explanatory letter-press).  Publisher's pebbled blue cloth, gilt spine.  A. C. Allyn for the Allyn Museum of Entomology, Sarosota, Florida, 1973.

  The preliminary leaves contain a title leaf, a two page foreword by Austin Rand, a subtitle leaf "Volume I / Ploceidae-1 / Plates 1-93" and a leaf entitle "Ploceidae" comprising a very brief overview of the family. Errata sheet laid in.

Van Someren was a Scot who served as a medical officer in East Africa, settled there and, with his brother, was a pioneering and prolific contributor to the ornithology of East Africa.  The two were fine photographers and published an outstanding early (1911) series of photogravures depicting Ugandan birds.  Apparently van Someren produced a complete series of colored illustrations for the birds of East Africa but only the present small fraction has been published.  Van Someren was not widely known as an artist although he did provide many of the (uncolored) illustrations that Schouteden used for his books on the birds found in the Belgian Congo.

It would be interesting to know the genesis of the present work which contains very brief descriptions with fine pictures of many East African weavers.  Several plates are often devoted to a single species illustrating subspecific characteristics or different plumages.  The plates are finely printed by color half-tone on heavy mat paper and the work is extremely handsome.

According to the title page, the work is "A Limited Edition" but this volume is unnumbered and there is no indication of the limitation.  The Trinity copy is #176 of 1000 copies and no errata sheet is indicated for it.   I've read of two copies in dealers' catalogs that were described as bound in publisher's blue morocco and perhaps only such copies were actually numbered.  However, the fine pebbled cloth binding could conceivably be mistaken for morocco.

Trinity, p. 246.  Also listed in Cornell and Yale on-line catalogs but not those of Harvard, NYPL and AMNH.

Van Someren, R.(obert)A.(braham)L.(ogan) and Someren, V.(ictor)G.(urner)L.(ogan) (1886-)

Studies / of / birdlife in Uganda 37. 6 x 25.2 cm.  Pp. [[1-4]5-20(2, blank); 12 ll. London, John Bale, Sons & Danielsson, Ltd, 1911.  Contains 25 unnumbered sepia photogravures depicting 18 species, the images 28.0 x 20.0 cm, on thick leaves with no printed matter.  The whole in plain half red cloth folder with gray cloth sides and red ribbon ties. Dedication "to our father and mother.." on upper pastedown. 

1, Title; 2, blank; 3, list of plates, here numbered 1-25 but unnumbered on the plates themselves; 4, blank; 5, -20, accounts of the 18 species here figured.

The Van Someran brothers were originally from Australia.  Victor served as a medical officer in Kenya and wrote extensively on African birds.  He was also an artist and provided many of the illustrations for  Schouteden's treatise on the birds of the Belgian Congo as well as a series of fine color plates of African Weavers published as The Birds of East Africa by the Allyn Museum of Entomology in Sarasota (1973).

The photographs in the present work by the two brothers are probably the first of birds in Uganda.  The accompanying essays, based entirely on personal observation, comprise anecdotal accounts of life histories of the birds. 

Wood, p. 577; Zimmer, p. 596, both under Someren.  Also listed by BMNH, Harvard, LOC, Oxford but not by AMNH, Ucal, Cornell, Smithsonian, Trinity, Yale.

Van Tyne, Jossely (1903(?)-1957), Berger, Andrew J.(ohn)(1915-).

Fundamentals of ornithology  22.7 x 15.0 cm. Pp.  [i-vi]vii-xi(1)1-624.  Original blue cloth with five gilt ornithological vignettes on upper cover, gilt lettering to spine.  Pictorial dust jacket.  New York, John Wiley & Sons, 1959.

i, Half-title with silhouette vignette; ii-iii, illustrated title; iv, copyright 1959; printed in USA; v, dedication; vi, blank; vii, preface; xi, contents; 1, paleontology; 21, anatomy; 70, plumage and molt;108, senses and behavior; 131, voice and sound production; 155, bird distribution; 182, migration; 218, flight; 237, food and feeding habits; 265, breeding behavior; 327, social relations; 349, taxonomy and nomenclature; 376, classification of world birds by families; 553, ornithological sources (periodicals, indices, bibliographies); 559, glossary; 587, general index including common and scientific names.  Contains about 252 uncolored text illustrations independently numbered for different chapters and including line drawings, half-tone photographs and 18 maps.  Worthy of special note are figures 1-168, fine line drawings by George M. Sutton (1898-1982) showing representatives of bird families.

Van Tyne was a Professor of Zoology at the University of Michigan and served as President of the American Ornithologists' Union.  Berger was to become an authority on Hawaiian birds.  This is a very basic and technical textbook of ornithology.  The chapters are more or less independent of one-another and each contains its own extensive bibliography.  Van Tyne died during its preparation but had extracted a promise from Berger to complete it in that unhappy circumstance.  I have the impression that Van Tyne's course in ornithology must have been quite difficult.  The book must have been the standard text for ornithology because it was reprinted in 1966 and 1971 and a second edition was published in 1976.

Listed by AMNH, Cornell, Harvard, Trinity and Yale.

Vaurie, Charles (d. 1975)

Taxonomy and geographical / distribution of the Furnariidae / (Aves, Passeriformes)  25.4 x 18.4 cm.  Pp.  [1-2]3-357(1)(two unpaginated leaves).  Original printed blue wrappers.  New York, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, Volume 166: Article 1, 1980. 

1, Title; 2,  "Issued October 28, 1980 /  Price: $24.70 a copy"; copyright 1980; ISSN 0003-0090; this article completes volume 166; 3, contents; iv, blank; v, preface by François Vuilleumier; 7, abstract; introduction; 10, acknowledgments; subfamily Furnariinae comprising five genera and 35 species; 55, subfamily Synallaxinae comprising 17 genera and 116 species; 227, subfamily Philydorinae comprising 12 genera and 63 species; 326, checklist of species; 332, synonymized genera; list of species with little information about nests; 333, notes; 342, literature cited (about 200 entries); 350, index of Latin names; first unpaginated terminal leaf: recto, title page for Bulletin; verso, edited by Florence Brauner; second unpaginated leaf: recto, contents of volume 166 (this article only); verso, blank.  Contains "Fig. 1-Fig. 10", colored plates by Francis Berille (8) and John Yrizarry (2) depicting 107 species and printed in half-tone on both sides of four leaves and on one side of two leaves that have running text on obverse.  All 10 plates are not included in pagination.  Also contains uncolored text distribution maps 1-55.

This work, like most by Vaurie, is a major contribution to ornithology.  He develops a classification of ovenbirds based primarily on their nests.  The descriptive text is most detailed in its treatment of the 34 genera for each of which there is considerable discussion of nests, behavior, morphological variation, phylogeny, and geographical variation.  There are also keys to the species in each genus.  The treatment of each species consists of a very detailed description of its plumage including that of the immature, and an elaboration of its distribution. Half the species are illustrated by colored figures.

Vaurie died in 1975 and the manuscript was assembled and introduction written (no easy tasks) by François Vuilleumier whose name does not appear on the title page.

Listed as an independent publication by AMNH, Cornell, Yale, not by Harvard, Trinity.

Vaurie, Charles (d. 1975)

Tibet / and its birds  24.5 x 17.1 cm.  [A]8B-2A82B4[$1, signed, 25 letter alphabet lacking only J]; 212 ll.  Pp.  [i-vi]vii-xv(1)[1-2]3-407(1).  Original publisher's red cloth with gilt black lettering area on spine.  Gray endpapers.  TEG.  Striking dust jacket with "Tibet" printed in huge red letters on white upper cover, dramatic uncolored scenic photograph on lower.  London, H. F. & G. Witherby, 1972. 

i, Half-title; ii, blank; iii, title; iv, "first published 1972"; copyright; printer designation: The Broadwater Press, Hertfordshire; v, dedication to Frank Ludlow; vi, blank; vii, contents; viii-ix, uncolored sketch-map; x, list of illustrations; xi, introduction including acknowledgements; 3, geographical and natural regions of Tibet; 38, history and ornithological exploration; 103, distribution and zoogeography; 149, migration; 163, systematic annotated list, Podicipedidae-Fringillidae, comprising 505 species; 343, hypothetical list of 15 species; 345, gazetteer; 366, literature cited including original Cyrillic citations; 381, appendix: working list of 242 Sino-Himalayan species; 385, index of English and Latin names.  Contains: Color half-tone plates A-C, so labeled on facing tissue sheet containing identifying letter-press, after Arthur Singer, printed one side only and, with its letter-press, not included in pagination; uncolored half-tone photographic frontispiece and similar plates 1-23 printed on both sides of six leaves not included in pagination; text figures 1-3, a graph and two uncolored maps, the latter additional to that on viii-ix.

This is an important book, the first describing the avifauna of this remote area and almost doubling the number of known species to 505.  For each species, Vaurie lists all published records including date, region and locality.  He also provides that information plus sex and measurements for the enormous number of specimens (virtually all extant) that he personally examined in various institutions.  He considers that there are three natural divisions of Tibet: a Northern Plateau; an Outer Plateau; and a Southeastern Plateau which is part of what he calls the "Sino-Himalayan" region.  This is a meticulously written and well produced book of very high scholarship.

Vaurie's original calling was dentistry.  He became an extremely productive ornithologist and eventually Curator of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History.  He is perhaps best known amongst ornithologists for his The birds of the Palearctic fauna (1959, 1965) and for monographs on the Cracidae ((1968) on the Furnariidae (1980).  He was also a well known philatelist.

Listed by AMNH, Cornell, Harvard, Trinity, Yale.

Verreaux, Édouard (1810-1869)

Catalogue D'Oiseaux (taken from wrapper)  21.8 x 13.8 cm.  [1]82-3842[$1 signed]; 26 ll.  Pp. [1-3]4-50(2, blank).  Original printed gray wrappers.  Paris, De Hennuyer et Cie, 1849.  1, Notice to potential clients; 2, blank; 3-50, list of species.

The "Maison Verreaux" was perhaps the best known 19th century establishment for obtaining ornithological specimens.  It was run by two brothers, Édouard, known also as the co-author with Mulsant of an important and beautiful treatise on hummingbirds, and Jules, older by three years.  In addition to their reputation for taxidermy, the brothers were highly regarded as scientific and field ornithologists who traveled and collected extensively.  The taxidermy firm had been founded in 1803 by their father and, according to the note that precedes this list of species, was the oldest in Europe.

This sales catalog lists more than 1,800 species alphabetically by their binomial designation starting with the genus.  Also included are the original describer and the place of origin of the species.  Prices are not given.  The author explains to us in the notice that this is because they depend on the condition, age and sex of the specimen.  He invites clients to select their species from the catalog and if some are absent  "il me serait peut-être facile de vous les procurer promptement" 

This remarkable ephemeral survival is unlisted in the usual bibliographies.



Verreaux (Jules P.[1807-1873]), Milne-Edwards (Alphonse [1835-1900])

Ornith. Tracts (A bound volume so titled on spine).  31.5 x 24.0 cm.   Collection of six extracts and an off-print as described below.  Late 19th century pebbled brown cloth with gilt lettering to spine, red speckled edges.  Paris, 1865-1870.  Bookplate of Frederick Ducane Godman (1834-1919), distinguished naturalist and ornithologist (author, Biologia Centrali-Americana [1879-1915], A monograph of the petrels[1907-1910]) and ornithological book collector.  Tipped into the volume is a gray slip inscribed by Verreaux to (Philip Lutley) Sclater (1829-1913), the chief executive of the Zoological Society of London, Editor of the Ibis, founding member of the BOU, and prolific author of ornithological articles and books.

Milne-Edwards, (Alphonse, [1835-1900]).  Rapport / sur quelques acquisitions nouvelles / faités / par la galerie ornithologique du museum  Pp.  [75]76-78.  Nouv. Archives du Muséum, Tome I, Bulletin, (Paris, 1865).  Contains hand-colored lithographic plates III-V, drawn and lithographed by Huet, printed by Imp. Becquet. Contains descriptions (three signed by D.-G. Elliot, two by J.Verraux [sic]) and illustrations of five species: Picus erythropygius; Capito quinticolor; Buthraupis Edwardsii; Sitta villosa; and Turdus Gudoti.  Ronsil, 2036.

Verreaux, Jules (P., [1807-1873]).  Description / de quelques / oiseaux nouveaux appartenant / a la collection zoologique du muséum / [1-3]4-8.  Nouv. Archives du Muséum, Tome III, Bulletin, (Paris, 1867).  Contains hand-colored lithographic plates 1-2 by Becquet after Huet. Includes journal half-title leaf (Bulletin / des / nouvelles archives du museum / Tome III) and descriptions and colored figures of three species: Chaetura grandidieri; Ampeloides flavitorques; and Foudia eminentissima.  Ronsil, 3017.

Verreaux, J.  Description / de quelques / nouvelles espèces d’oiseaux  [85]86-89(1).  Nouv. Archives du Muséum, Tome IV, Bulletin, (Paris, 1868).  Inscribed by Verreaux to (Osbert) Salvin (1835-1898), distinguished ornithologist, authority on neotropical zoology, and coauthor of Biologia Centrali-Americana (1879-1915) and Exotic Ornithology (1866-1869).  Contains chromolithographic plates 2-3 by Becquet after Huet.  Describes and illustrates three species: Crossoptilon drouynii; Megalaima lagrandieri; Hyloterpe rodolphi;  Ronsil, 3017.

Verreaux, J.  Description / de deux oiseaux / de la collection zoologique du muséum / qui constituent des espèces nouvelles [15]16-17(1).  Nouv. Archives du Muséum, Tome 5, Bulletin (Paris, 1869).  Inscribed by Verreaux to Salvin.  Contains chromolithographic plate 1 by Becquet after Huet.  Describes and figures two species: Callirhynchus frontalis; and Megalurulus mariae.  Ronsil, 3017.

Verreaux, J.  Notes / sur quelques / oiseaux considérés comme nouveaux / provenant / du voyage de M. l’Abbe Armand David / dans le Thibet oriental  [33]34-36.  Nouv.  Archives du Muséum, Tome 5, Bulletin (Paris, 1869).  Contains hand-colored lithographic plate 6 by Becquet after Huet depicting Lophophorus obscurus.  Text describes six species.  Ronsil, 3017.

Verreaux, J.  Note / sur les / espèces nouvelles d’oiseaux / recueillis / par M. l’Abbé Armand David / dans les montagnes du Thibet Chinois [33]34-40.  Nouv. Archives du Muséum, Tome 6, Bulletins (Paris, 1870).  Inscribed by Verreaux to Osbert Salvin.  Contains hand-colored lighographic plate 3 by Becquet after Huet depicting Janthocincla maxima and Janthocincla lunulata.  Text describes 32 species.  Ronsil, 3017.

Grandidier, Alf(red)(1836-1907).  27.4 x 22.0 cm.  Observations sur le gisement des oeufs de l’Epiornis Compte Rendus des Séances de l’Académie des Sciences, (LXV, 476-478 1867), this an off-print separately paginated [1]2-3[4].  Ronsil, 1257.

This collection of six extracts from the rare and important French journal, Nouvelles Archives du Muséum and one off-print from the Comptes Rendus… has some remarkable associations involving Frederick Ducane Godman, Alfred Grandidier, Alphonse Milne-Edwards, Osbert Salvin, Philip Lutley Sclater, and Jules Verreaux.  Amongst this group of elite English and French ornithologists, Godman was the book collector and likely was given these extracts by his good friend and co-author, Osbert Salvin, to whom several of them are inscribed by Verreaux.  The latter was perhaps best known as a taxidermist, who, with his brother Edouard, maintained in Paris, perhaps the largest commercially available stock of stuffed birds in the world.


(Vieillot, Louis Jean Pierre [1748-1831])


Faune Française / ou / Histoire / Naturelle, générale et particulière / des Animaux / qui se trouvent / en France, / constamment ou passagèrement, a la surface du sol, dans les eaux qui le / baignent, et dans le littoral des mers qui le bornent; (Oiseaux).  (From included upper pink wrapper).  Two volumes.  Paris, Levrault, (1822-1829).  Bradley Martin copy.

Text  19.7 x 12.6 cm.  Laid paper.  8o.  1-26827-294302[$1 signed]; 222 ll.  Pp.  [1]2-443(1).  Contemporary half-brown morocco and marbled boards.  Spine in five compartments with gilt red morocco labeling pieces in second and fourth.  Marbled edges.  Upper pink printed wrapper included. 1-423, Systematic text; 424-443, table alphabetique de noms vulgaires…

Atlas  19.6 x 13.6 cm.  88 loose color-printed engraved plates numbered 1-172 and lacking 69-85, 87-88, 103-111, 113-168 which, according to Engelmann's bibliography (1846) p. 325, were never published.  Plates drawn by Prêtre and engraved by Massard (84), Coignet (2) and Guajard (2).

 According to Ronsil in his L'Art Française… (p. 42) "…la première iconographie, malheuresment inachevé, de l'avifaune Française…"  However, Vieillot published almost simultaneously his Ornithologie Française…  covering the same material although with very different illustrations.  The present volume was one of 12 covering French natural history and was the only one whose text was completed.  Vieillot was a major figure in ornithology of the era, particularly in classification, and was responsible for a number of important publications including Galerie des Oiseaux... and Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de L'Amérique septentrionale,...     In the present work, he provides definitions for the various genera and, for each species, presents synonymy, description, and, where feasible and applicable, information concerning nidification, eggs, food and habits.

According to Ronsil, in his Bibliographie, (#3030), the ornithological section was issued in eight livraisons.  Although 88 plates is the number specified by Engelmann and by the catalogue of the BM(NH), Ronsil possessed a copy with 114 which he considered unique. 

This volume is rare.  It is present at the BM(NH), Harvard, Oxford, and Trinity (incomplete) but lacking at AMNH, Berkeley, Cornell, Field Museum, Library of Congress, McGill, Smithsonian and Yale.

Vieillot, L(ouis)(Jean) P.(ierre) [1748-1831], Oudart, P(aul)[1796-?]

La Galerie / des Oiseaux  Two volumes. 26.0 x 21.5 cm.  40 with text on laid paper, plates on wove paper.  Calf-backed boards with four raised ridges, gilt lettering and blind-stamped designs on spine.  Marbled endpapers and edges.  Paris, Carpentier-Méricourt, 1834.  Giles Loder copy.

Tome Premier / Première et Deuxième Parties  π2 *4(-*4)1-741422(-22)3-434(42 misnumbered 41)432(sic)442(-442)[$1 signed]; 205 ll.  Pp.  (6)[i]ii-iii(1)[1]2-56[1]2-344.  π1r, Half-title; π1v, printer's name and address; π2r, title; π2v, blank; *1r, avis de l'editeur; *1v, avis aux relieurs; lacks dedication leaf called for at this location; i, introduction; 1-56, text of première partie; 1-339, text for deuxième partie; 344, table des matières; 344, errata..  Contains hand-colored lithographic plates 1-23, 23 bis, 24-63, 65-69, 71-150, 152-198, i. e. a total of 196 plates.  Plates 64 and 70 have been excised from this copy with their stubs retained.  Plate 151 was not issued according to both Ronsil and Zimmer.  Plates 107 and 192 are folding.

Tome Deuxième / Troisième, Quatrième et Cinquième Parties  π21-304314(-314)χ30; 155 ll.  Pp.  (4)[1]2-246[1]2-8[1]2-4(10)[1]2-3(1)[1]2-3(1)[1]2[1]2[1]2[1]2[1]2-3(1)[1]2-3(1)[1]2-4[1]2[1]2-3(5, including two species accounts, a blank and the table of contents for the volume which, in Zimmer's copy, is placed after p. 236)  π1r, Half-title; π1v, name and address of printer; π2r, title; π2v, blank; 1-246, species accounts which are subsequently paginated separately.  Contains hand-colored lithographic plates 200, 199, 201-232, 300, 233-292, 301, 293-299 plus 24 unnumbered, i. e. a total of 127 colored plates giving 323 (of 325) for the entire work.  Also contains uncolored lithographic plates A-V(L mislabeled M), X-Z, AA-HH, i. e. 33 uncolored plates.  Parts III, IV and V start respectively at pages 1, 73 and 185 as indicated by the signatures.

This important work was originally started by Oudart and was envisioned to describe and illustrate all of the species in collection of the (natural history) museum.  Oudart got through six fascicles containing 24 plates by which time it became evident that the project was too ambitious.  Vieillot assumed responsibility for the writing and was responsible for fascicles 7-82.  The more modest aim was to describe the criteria for all the genera in the museum and to discuss and illustrate a representative species of each genus.  Vieillot provided anatomical criteria in great detail for the various genera and then gave synonymy and a general discussion of the habits and distribution of the representative species.  He was particularly careful to provide synonymy for Linnaeus, Brisson, Buffon and Latham.  Some interesting species were described and illustrated for the first time including the African Swallow-tailed Kite and the Blue-headed, Racket-tailed Parrot.  The fraction of the work that Oudart had written did not follow the criteria that Vieillot employed and even though Oudart's six fascicles were the first to be written, they were placed at the end of volume two of the completed publication.  The original edition of this work was published in 82 fascicles between 1820 and 1826.  The present volumes represent the second edition although this is unstated.  Both editions are rare.

Oudart had trained under the same master (van Spaendonck) as had Redouté and was the most gifted French ornithological artist of his era.  It is evident from his portraits of birds that he had considerable field knowledge.  When one considers that for almost all of the species he depicted in this work, he was working from stuffed specimens with no indication of the shape and posture of the living bird, it is extraordinary how much life he could infuse into the figures.  The coloring was also very well executed.  For example, the subtle differences of blue and purple in the mantle and wings of the Blue Jay are beautifully done and the egregious error of blue eyes committed in an antecedent work by Levaillant is not here repeated.

The drawings were lithographed by three firms: C. Motte, G. Engelmann and Demanne.  In this copy, gold embellishment was used effectively for some of the portraits including those of pheasants, peacock and turkey, trogon, cuckoo, jacamar, sunbird, and birds of paradise.

The six fascicles by Oudart are placed at the end after the section of uncolored plates.  The species accounts are paginated separately and there are no coherent signatures.  The 24 colored plates are not numbered.  In the present copy, the table of contents is placed at the very end of the volume whereas in the copy described by Zimmer it is located after page 246, i. e. at the end of Vieillot's text.

It should be noted that the five parts designated by the two title pages are different from the original 82 fascicles or parts in which the book was originally issued.

Ronsil, 3031; Trinity, p. 245 (this edition); Wood, p. 613 (largely incomplete); Yale, p. 301 (this edition); Zimmer, p. 655 (original edition).

Vieillot, Louis Jean Pierre (1748-1841)(Philip R. St. Clair, editor; Eve Jentoft, translator)

Songbirds of the torrid zone  34.2 x 28.0 cm.  [1-vi]vii-xxix(1)[1-4]5-291(1).  Original full black morocco with gilt rules and roll panel design on covers.  Spine with five raised bands, six double gilt ruled frames, gilt lettering in second, third and fifth, gilt designs in all save second.  Marbled endpapers.  AEG.  An official publication of the National Audubon Society.  Kent Ohio, Volaire Limited, 1979;

i-ii, blank; iii, half-title; iv, blank; v, title; vi, copyright 1979.  First Edition; ISBN 0-931480-39-6; printed and bound in USA; vii, contents; ix preface by James F. Clements; xi biography of Vieillot by St. Clair; xviii, notes on biography; xix, foreword by Vieillot, Pairs, 1805; xxii, blank; xxiii, introduction by Vieillot; 1, natural history of the Bengalis; 29, the Sénégalis; 57, the Fringilles; 117, the Veurves; 159, the Malimbes; 179, the Bovreuils; 195, the Loxies; 281, bibliography (37 entries by St. Clair, all published before 1830); 285-286, blank; 287, list of plates with Roman numerals; 291, colophon: limited to 1,500 copies; color film prepared by George Rice & Sons, Los Angeles; printed by Federated Lithographers-Printers, Providence; binding by Tapley-Rutter, Moonachie, New Jersey.  Contains plates 1-28, 28*, 28**, 29-70 (two folding) printed in color half-tone on one side only, both sides included in pagination.

The original work, Histoire naturelle des plus beaux oiseaux chanteurs de la zone torride, was published in 12 parts, 1805-1809 by Dufour in Paris.  The copies I have seen were all printed on much larger paper (ca. 52 x 24 cm) than this book and Ronsil does not list a quarto edition although works of this kind were usually printed in both quarto and folio formats.  The plates were drawn by Jean Gabriel Prêtre, engraved by Louis Bouquet and printed by Langlois, a pedigree of the highest possible stature.  The text deals mainly with avicultural aspects of these finches that were imported into Paris from all over the world.

This is the first translation of the work and Vieillot's accounts of these exotic birds create an early 19th century perspective of faraway places.  His comments about contemporary ornithologists, particularly Temminck, are also interesting.

 Current English and scientific names for the birds and their true distributions were supplied by James Clements.  Clements also had an association with (perhaps owned) George Rice & Sons which did the color printing for this book as well as for Alexander Skutch's Life of the woodpecker (1985), published by Clements's Ibis Publishing Company.

The original plates for this work were of very high technical caliber but the birds are posed and lifeless.  Since one cannot hope to reproduce the technical expertise that made these pictures interesting, the work seems to me an odd one to have chosen for a facsimile reproduction.  However, the book has been nicely produced.

This edition listed by Cornell, Yale.  Not listed by AMNH, Harvard, Trinity.


Vigil, Carlos

Aves Argentinas / y Sudamericanas  29.5 x 22.4 cm.  Pp.  [1-10]11-360.  Publisher's lime cloth with silver lettering and vignette on upper cover, silver rules and lettering on spine.  Blue and white patterned endpapers.  Wrap-around pictorial dust jacket.  Buenos Aires, Editorial Atlantida, 1973.

1-2, blank; 3, title with uncolored vignette; 4, credits: printed by the publisher in Argentina; 5, note to reader; 7, preface by Juan B. Daguerre; 9, half-title; 10, diagrammatic topography of a bird; 11, text, Rhea americana-Poospiza nigrorufa, encompassing 188 species; 353, index; 354, index of (70) families; 355, index of scientific names; 357, index of common names; 359, references (52).  Contains 213 colored, unnumbered text portraits, each a framed picture about 12 x 16 cm printed in half tone after Enrique Lachaud de Loqueyssie and 70 unnumbered, uncolored small pictures of heads of a representative of each family.

This is one of the relatively early, fairly comprehensive, well illustrated national ornithological books to be wholly produced in a South American country.  The text for each species includes an introductory section encompassing its status, size, nourishment and general life history.  There follow specific sections devoted to: local distribution; world-wide distribution; plumage; nesting (time and structure); and eggs.  Every species treated in the text is illustrated, sometimes with separate figures for male and female.  The pictures have a certain appeal.

In the note to the reader, the author writes that the book is based on a systematic list of the birds of Argentina by Angel R. Zotta published in 1944 and on Meyer de Schauensee's Guide to the birds of South America published in 1970.  However, the present work provides a large representational selection rather than a complete coverage of the birds of Argentina.

A second edition was published in 1977.

Listed by Cornell, Yale.  Not listed by AMNH, Harvard, Trinity.



Vigors, N.(icholas)A.(ylward)(1785-1840), Horsfield, Thomas (1773-1859)


A description of the Australian birds in the collection of / the Linnean Society; with an attempt at arranging them ac- / cording to their natural affinities  28.8 x 22.9 cm. Wove paper but with catch words. Z42A-2T42U2[$1, 2 signed]; 82 ll.  Pp (169)170-331(332).  Extracted from the Trans. Linn. Soc. London, 15, 1827.  Pages 169 and 332 are from the preceding and following articles.  Later green buckram binder’s cloth with gilt lettering to spine.  Contributed by the Zoological Club of the Linnean Society.  Read June 21, 1825 and January 27, 1826. (London, R. Taylor for the Society, 1827).


 The Linnean Society had a significant collection of ornithological specimens from Australia, most of which had been collected by a “Mr. Caley” and the authors tried to arrange these systematically according to Linnean principles.  They examined about 172 species including 27 parrots and described in considerable detail those which they considered new or which had not been previously treated in detail.   They also included field notes that Mr. Caley had made.


 At the time of this contribution, there was not a great deal of systematic information concerning Australian birds aside from antecedent works by Latham and Lewin.


 Thomas Horsfield was the author of “Systematic arrangement and description of birds from the island of Java”(Trans. Linn. Soc. London, 13, 1821) which, unlike the present article, was based on his own collection.

Wood, p. 613.  OCLC locates about 35 examples, almost all of which are in microform.


Viney, Clive (text), and Karen Phillipps (illustrations).

A colour guide to / Hong Kong / birds  20.3 x 15.5 cm.  Pp.  [1-2]3-123(1) (not including initial and terminal blanks).  Original printed colored pictorial card covers.  Colored endpaper maps.  Hong Kong, Government Printer, 1979(1977).

1, title page with colored vignette; 2, quotation from J. D. D. La Touche; copyright; first edition December, 1977; second edition, November, 1979; 3, contents; 4, blank; 5, introduction; 8, how to identify birds; 11, where to watch birds in Hong Kong; 15, calendar; 17, glossary; 18, species accounts, Ardeola bacchus-Ploceus philippinus, comprising about 324 species; 114, list of (47) vagrants; 116, bibliography (14 entries); 117, index of scientific names; 120, English names.  Contains 48 unnumbered colored plates depicting almost all species, printed on recto in half-tone with letter-press for next plate on verso.  Plates and letter-press included in pagination.  Also contains colored title vignette, two line diagrams of parts of a bird and seven unnumbered text line illustrations.

"The paintings and supporting text should provide ready identification of any bird seen…" (p. 5).  The book achieves this objective very well.  The brief text for each species includes a length measurement, the name in Mandarin (?) characters, and the local status.  The book came out in various editions, at least through a sixth in 1994, and was considerably expanded.

AMNH, 1994 edition; Cornell, 1977 and 1989 editions; Yale, 1977, 1983 and 1988 editions.  Not listed by Harvard and Trinity.



Vornberger, Cal

Birds / of / Central / Park
  25.4 x 25.4 cm.  Pp.  [1-3]4-207[208].  Publisher’s fine tan color pictorial boards (snowy egret).  Color pictorial dust jacket with white printing on upper cover and spine.  Endpaper maps.  New York, Harry N. Abrams, 2005, second printing.

1, Frontispiece, great egret; 2, poem, photograph; 3, title; 4-5, contents; 6, foreword by Marie Winn; 13, winter; 59, spring; 107, summer; 157, fall; 203, equipment; 204, index, including bird names in English; 206, acknowledgments; 208, publication data: editor: Andrea Denese; designer: Dillon / Thompson; production manager: Jane Searle; ISBN 0-8109-5917-8; copyright 2005; second printing; printed and bound in Singapore.  Contains about 180 unnumbered color half-tone photographs ranging up to double-page with intermittent text.  Included also in a celluloid pocket on the rear pastedown is a folding “pocket guide” depicting 116 species in small colored photographs with a brief text for each and
 a small essay on birding in the park.

This is a “coffee table” type of book with spectacularly fine colored photographs that capture their subjects in wonderfully characteristic moments.  The design and printing of the book enhances the excellence of the photographs.  Central Park is one of the world’s most extraordinary birding venues and this work does it justice.


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