1846 2-volume set. (Price newly reduced.) Overall condition "Good", with 131 delightful hand-coloured plates which are still in excellent order, showing the subtle hues and markings of the eggs. The plates reflect Hewitson's special interest in bird eggs, whilst the text also provides further details of each bird, including each's nesting.
Vol I: xvi, 222pp. Fair. Half bound red covers, with wearing and rubbing to cloth faces and edges, exposing board in 4 small parts to bottom of front cover. Leather spine and corner angles. Spine leather with gilt titles, intact, though with significant loss of the spine outer top third. Vertical crack also to base of spine outer. Front board inner has loose gutter. Block clean however, and binding remain tight. Evidence of damp encroachment to the front and rear endpapers. But, with the exception of the first couple of plates which show foxing, the pages of narrative, and most importantly the plates themselves, are very much free of staining and foxing, being clean, and a delight. The plates retain their subtle colouring and live quality.
Vol II: Good. This volume continues the pagination from Vol I, to pp 470. Vol II shows similar problems to Vol I, but is generally in better condition, with the spine being far more intact, and there being less foxing to end papers. The plates remain clean and remarkable.
Both volumes have the following personal inscription to rear of FFEP ..... "Mr Thomas Westbrook. From Mrs Harrifson. In grateful remembrance of long years of patient work as Superintendent of the Droxford Sunday School - 1902.".
William Chapman Hewitson (1806 -1878), was a land-surveyor, employed on the London and Birmingham Railway. On inheriting a large fortune, he dedicated himself to the study of natural history, collecting beetles, butterflies, moths, and birds' eggs. He published a number of important works and also became an accomplished illustrator. In the Introduction, Hewitson acknowledges the care and accuracy with which Joseph Standish has performed his part - hand colouring the work.