History of the Birds of Europe, 1871
With great pleasure we are at last able to offer the finest prints from an exceedingly rare work deserving far greater recognition than it has received. Henry Eeles Dresserís The History of the Birds of Europe 1871-1896 was published during the grandest years of the Victorian era, at a time when an extraordinarily talented group of artists, writers, publishers and printers were producing some of the most sumptuous titles in ornithological literature. Mention John Gould, Joseph Sharpe and Daniel Elliot to avid collectors and their gaze immediately turns inward. They see in their minds eyes the lush volumes these gentlemen authored or edited and fervently wish they might own a few prints born of them. Sadly, such prints are not only rare but often prohibitively expensive.
This work was to be the last great hand coloured bird book, in itself extremely rare & precious, as only about 240 copies were issued to subscribers only. It is rarer by far than Gouldís Birds of Britain and Audubonís Birds of America because of this extremely small issue. Though named Birds of Europe, the scope was actually much broader, covering species from Europe to part of Asia North Africa & the Caucasus. The majority of the illustrations were the work of the illustrious Dutch painter & illustrator, John Gerrard Keulemans (1842-1912). Utilizing specimens from Dresser's own collection of 12,000 birds, he produced over 650 of the illustrations for this superb work, which was his greatest achievement.