London: Author, -1880. Quarto, one coloured map and 33 handcoloured plates by Keulemans. Contemporary half brown morocco, top edges gilt, the second appendix present (sometimes lacking), a fine set.
William Vincent Legge (1841-1918) was born in Tasmania in 1841 and educated in England after which he joined the Royal Artillery. He was stationed in Ceylon and found time to pursue his serious interest in ornithology. He became secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society and reorganised the Colombo Museum. Birds of Ceylon was written in England after he left Ceylon in 1877. Colonel Legge came back to Tasmania and took on the vital task of organising the defence of Hobart. His interest in natural history, particularly birds, never waned and he was one of the founders of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists' Union and its first president.
The fine illustrations are primarily of Sri Lankan endemics.
Anker 284; Fine bird books (reprint) p. 115; Nissen IVB 539; Nissen SVB 294; Whittell pp.421-3; Wood p. 430; Zimmer pp.382-3.
Price: $12,500.00 AU