New York: D. Appleton and Company, (1861-1863. first edition). Folio, 31 handcoloured lithographic plates heightened with gum arabic, after Elliot and P.L. Oudart. Six parts (lacks the final supplement) in the original printed tan card covers and half red roan, some light wear; a fine well coloured set.
The first book by Elliot and the scarcest of his major monographs. Daniel Giraud Elliot (1835-1915) was one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the American Ornithologists' Union and of the Société Zoologique de France. He was also curator of zoology at the Field Museum in Chicago. A wealthy man, he published six other sumptuous folio natural history monographs with the intention of rivalling John Gould. Elliot's preferred illustrator for his Pitta monograph was the French artist Paul Louis Oudart but when the artist died having completed only three of the plates, Elliot completed the work himself.
Fine Bird Books (reprint) p 95; Nissen, IVB 292; Whittell, pp 225-26; Wood p. 332.
Price: $15,000.00 AU