London: Witherby & Co. 1910-1927. Quarto, thirteen volumes, 600 handcoloured plates by Keulemans, Gronvold, Goodchild and Green. Contemporary dark green morocco with gilt fillets and lozenge ornaments in spine compartments (except volume four); volume one with gilt stamped birds, a handsome crisp set, scarce in this condition.
Gregory Macalister Mathews (1876-1949) was born into a wealthy New South Wales grazing family. He settled in England at the turn of the century and over the next 40 years, with the help of his secretary Tom Iredale into the 1920's, he devoted his life to Australian ornithology. His contribution to Australian ornithology, particularly taxonomy, is profound and at times controversial. Birds of Australia is the last of the great colour-plate bird books and one of the most ambitious bird books ever published. Along with Gould's Birds of Australia 1840-1869 and A. J. North's Nests and Eggs 1904-1914 Mathew's The Birds of Australia is fundamental to Australian ornithology.
Anker 328; Nissen IVB 605; Nissen SVB 329; Whittell pp. 488-504: Wood p.454; Zimmer p. 419.
Price: $26,000.00 AU