16th Sep, 2023 10:00

Fine Art & Antiques

Lot 2041

Sold for £1,800

Lot details

Legge, Captain William Vincent: (1841-1918), A History of the Birds of Ceylon, first complete edition, published by the author, London 1880, printed by Taylor and Francis of Red Lion Court, Fleet Street, three volumes in one, 4to (315 x 245mm), containing hand-coloured engraved map, dedication page to his Royal Highness Alfred Ernest Albert, Duke of Edinburgh, preface by the author dated 'Aberystwyth, September 2, 1880', one uncoloured anatomical plate, 34 hand-coloured lithographed plates after Johannes Gerardus Keulemans (including one chromolithographic plate of eggs), and 12 in-text woodcut illustrations, marbled end-pages, rebound in light red canvas with banded title (Legge is spelt Legg) and gilt tooling to the spine.

Note: Tasmanian-born soldier and ornithologist, Legge was stationed in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) between 1869 and 1877 and spent his free time there studying the birds of the region. His work was published in three parts between 1878 and 1880, before being combined into this one-volume publication. He was a Colonial Member of the British Ornithologists' Union, an Honorary Fellow of the American Ornithologists' Union, a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of the Zoological Society of London, the Linnean Society. He was also a founder and president of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union and vice-president of the Royal Society of Tasmania. Both the Legge's hawk-eagle and the Legge's flowerpecker are named after him. Legge gave part of his collection of Ceylonese birds to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington.

Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, visited Ceylon during Legge's time there, being the first time British Royalty had set foot in the country.

Condition Report

Lacking list of subscribers, otherwise appears complete.

Some minor spotting and foxing throughout - nothing significant.

Some pages trimmed and some very slightly coming away at the joins.

Very few minor tears/creases.

The spine and covers with some general marks and scuffing.

The map has not been trimmed.

Title page loose to bottom quarter.

Many of the coloured plates are slightly smaller than other pages.

Condition reports must be considered as a matter of opinion and not fact.


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