A History of the Birds of New Zealand.
The success which attended the Author’s first edition of ‘The Birds of New Zealand’ (published in 1873, and containing comparatively few illustrations) has induced him to enter upon a more ambitious undertaking. Limited as that was to an impression of 500 copies, the whole edition was privately subscribed for; and the drawings on the stones, from which Mr. Keulemans had produced the inimitable Plates, were then erased. Published at Five Guineas, the price rapidly rose till, in a few years, a copy fetched £20 at public auction in New Zealand; then £21 in London (at the sale of Sir William Jardine’s library); and, finally, in Melbourne, the extraordinary price of £37 10s. Even within the last few months, with the new edition well in progress, a second-hand copy reached £26 at Mr. Sotheby’s sale-rooms.
The interval of thirteen years since elapsed has been spent by the Author in New Zealand, where he has enjoyed exceptional opportunities for obtaining fresh specimens and extending his knowledge of this remarkable avifauna.
This work will be issued in Thirteen Parts (to Subscribers only) at the price of One Guinea each, or Twelve Guineas for the whole if paid in advance.
Each part (except the last) will contain facsimiles of four beautiful coloured drawings by Mr. Keulemans, the birds being represented as they appear in life, with accessories drawn from the native flora of the country. These will be highly finished pictures in the best style of modern art, all the colour-stones being drawn either by or under the immediate direction of Mr. Keulemans himself. Specimens of these Plates, exhibited at the last Soirée of the Royal Society, were pronounced by ‘The Times’ reviewer “absolutely perfect.”
A figure will be given of every form peculiar to New Zealand; and the enlarged size (Imperial page x Quarto) will enable the artist to group the sexes or allied species together wherever it may be found desirable.
The final Part will contain a General Introduction, profusely illustrated with woodcuts, the List of Subscribers, and a complete Index to the whole work.
London, September 30, 1887.