François Levaillant (1753-1824) was a naturalist, the son of the French consulto Dutch Guyana. Sponsored by a patron to find specimens for hiscollector’scabinet, Levaillant made a six-month expedition to Africa, landing atthe Cape of Good Hope in 1781, and returning to France in 1784. In Africa,he observed the habits of birds and amassed a major collection of specimens,also discovering some 50 new species. This became the basis of his monumentalsix-volume work Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux d’Afrique, the only substantial ornithological work published on Africa duringthat period, containing over 300 illustrations, and still admired todayfor the quality of the prints and lively style of writing. As was typicalof natural history collections, the set was originally issued in 51parts. The printing of the first 13 was supervised by the ornithologistJ.B. Audebert, and the remainder by Langlois.
Condition: Generally very good, with the usual light overall toning, handling, wear, soft creases. Scattered light marginal foxing, can be matted out.
“Hill Collection–18th c. French authors & artists.” Cornell University Libraries. 10 June 1999. http://rmc.library.cornell.edu/ornithology/guide/hillguide10.htm (8 March 2004).
Redden, David, et. al. The Library of H. Bradley Martin: Magnificent Color-PlateOrnithology. New York: Sotheby’s, 1989. Pls. 141-142.
Nissen IVB 555; Fine Bird Books p. 90; Anker 298; Zimmer II, 391; Ronsil 1780; Mendelssohn I, 892. Compare with: Jeanson 7035 (2nd Jeanson sale nr. 280).