London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1880.
Hardcover. "In our songs, in our fables, in our legends, in our proverbs, the Bird has a conspicuous share," writes W. H. Davenport in his preface to his and Hector Giacomelli's Bird World, before swooping into a barrage of such poignant questions as "What would spring be without the swallow, or winter without the robin," "How much of beauty the world would lose if deprived of its humming-birds and its birds of paradise," and "Would there not be a blank in our poetry without the joyous morning strain of the skylark or the full rich night-song of the nightingale?" Fabulously, the author writes in his introduction that, amidst the facts and anecdotes, descriptions of travellers, fancies of poets, associations of history and romance, and "pleasant gossip" about birds, he has "been led to and fro at the will of the artist" and his exquisite illustrations, and truly The Bird World is sumptuously, dramatically, fully, and profusely illustrated throughout in 145 engravings drawn by Hector Giacomelli (1822-1904) and carried out by a flock of skilled artisans. Section titles include: "The Bird as an Individual," "The Movements of the Bird," "Intelligence of the Bird," "The Habitat of the Birds," and "Bird Architecture." If you have ever been ensnared by beak or by wing, this ostentatiously ornithological tome is just the thing with which to feather your nest.
10" X 6 7/8". xii, [iii], 16-464pp. Red cloth over bevelled boards, with birds amid trailing vines stamped in black and in gilt to upper board and spine, with lettering in kind. Moderate wear to binding, with bumping and small tears to corners and head and tail of spine, small tear to bottom edge of front exterior hinge, sunning to spine, and small scattered spots of staining to rear. All edges gilt. Front hinge quite tender and starting to separate at title page; binding remains sound. Quite striking bookplate to front pastedown. Occasional light foxing or smudge to pages, else clean and unmarked. Fully and profusely illustrated throughout in 145 engravings drawn by Hector Giacomelli (1822-1904) and carried out by a flock of skilled artisans. Good. Item #5718