London: Transactions of the Zoological Society of London, 1900. Quarto, 18 handcoloured lithographs by Keulemans, four uncoloured photographic plates, two handcoloured maps. Contemporary half morocco and marbled boards, top edge coloured, publisher's blue wrappers retained, a fine copy.
Extracted from the Transactions of the Zoological Society of London, Volume 15, part five. The only monograph on the most spectacular of all the large flightless birds. Cassowaries are confined only to Australia and New Guinea. Rothschild assembled a large collection of live cassowaries at his estate at Tring in Hertfordshire, England, and Keulemans used them as subjects for his outstanding plates. With one exception all the plates are head studies.
His enthusiasm for Cassowaries is neatly described By Miriam Rothschild. "For there was one consequence of his debacle and disgrace [with his father] that was unendurable, and so long as one penny of his capital remained safely in trust, he was not prepared to accept this punishment. He would not, and could not, give up his live cassowaries.
In the course of the next few weeks you will receive a letter from my father forbidding you to grant me any further credit. But this is not to apply to my cassowaries. When these arrive please do not dispatch them to Tring but keep them safely for me until you get further information.
Thus, in various parts of the world secret caches of live cassowaries began to build up. Although he had published his monograph on the genus in 1900, he had not yet got them out of his system" (Dear Lord Rothschild: birds, butterflies and history, 1983. p. 93).
Whittell pp. 625-6; Wood p. 453.
Price: $8,500.00 AU