Amsterdam International Antiquarian Book & Map Fair

Selected Highlights


Antiquariaat Forum
Westrenen, Tuurdijk 16
3997 MS 't Goy-houten
The Netherlands


Laurens R. Hesselink


+31-30-6011955 +31-30-6011955



Extremely rare series, with 87 fine hand-coloured ornithological plates
Edouard SWAGERS. Collection complète des oiseaux d'Europe, dessinés et coloriés d'après nature. Amiens, printed by R. Machart, 183[3]. 4to. With 87 fine hand-coloured lithographed plates, and 11 descriptive letterpress double-leaves. Loose as issued, with original publisher's letterpress printed wrappers for 1 fascicle loosely inserted, front and back with a decorative border built up from fleurons, the front with a woodcut vignette of a bird, and the number of the fascicle ("4me"), the month ("Avril") and last digit in the date ("3") added in manuscript. The back wrapper with a lengthy note on the publication, and the name of the printer. In modern clam-shell box.

Extremely rare and unfinished series of fine ornithological plates, lithographed by A. Leprince after Edouard Swagers and published in fascicles. As stated on the wrappers, the work was intended to reach no fewer than 50 fascicles, each with 8 plates, of which only a limited number was actually issued. The bibliographer Quérard believed that only the first 4 parts were published, with a total of 32 plates and 12 letterpress leaves, as did both Nissen and Ronsil. As is evident from the Bradley Martin copy, however, at least 12 fascicles with a total of 96 plates were issued. Though the Martin copy lacked the wrappers, it was probably the most complete copy extant, and, in fact, the only copy to have come on the market in the last decades (auctioned in 1989 and again in 1990).
Our copy includes the wrappers of one fascicle, containing the title and an extensive description of the project, and 11 fascicles, each with a letterpress double-leaf and a total of 87 plates (lacking the "Chouette effraie"). The birds are arranged by diet, showing birds of prey (42), omnivores (17) and insectivores (28). They were drawn from specimens in the collection of Delahaye, curator of the library of Amiens.
Little is known about Swagers. On the back wrapper he styles himself "professeur de dessin, à Amiens" and mentions that he will shortly also publish a series of plates of exotic birds, drawn from specimens in the Cabinet d'histoire naturelle, Paris. Apparently this project was never realised.
Some spotting, wrappers tattered, otherwise in very good condition.

Bradley Martin sale, item 1899; Fine Bird Books 110 (misinterpreting Nissen and stating that 400 plates were issued); Nissen, IVB 910 (32 plates only); Nissen, SVB 488 (idem); Quérard, La france littéraire, vol. 9, p. 299; Ronsil 2851 (32 plates only); WorldCat (2 copies); not in Ayer; Wood.
Exhibitor: Antiquariaat Forum

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