Beebe, William Charles. A MONOGRAPH OF THE PHEASANTS. London: Witherby and Co., under the auspices of the New York Zoological Society, 1918 - 1922. 4 Volumes Folio, 16 by 12 inches in the original maroon cloth with gilt titling to the upper covers and spines. # 156 of 600 printed. Title pages printed in red and black. Complete in pp. xlix + 198, xv + 269, xvi + 204, xv + 242, 90 coloured plates by Archibald Thorburn, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, George Edmund Lodge and Henrik Gronvold; 88 photogravures, and 20 coloured maps. William Charles Beebe (1877-1962) was a celebrated naturalist and ornithologist and one of the most popular and prominent American scientists of the 20th Century. He was associated for many years with the New York Zoological Park, now known as the Bronx Zoo.
From the William Beebe website: "A Monograph of the Pheasants is made up of four volumes, each around 150,000 words. The first run was 600 copies at $250 a set. It was reprinted in 1936 into a single volume. A more dramatized version of the expedition was the book "Pheasant Jungles," published in 1927. The journey occupied seventeen months, extended over twenty countries, and resulted in a rare abundance of material, both literary-concerning the life histories of birds-and pictorial, photographs and sketches." "This (Monograph) is a profound study of the living pheasants in their natural environment in various parts of eastern Asia. There are nineteen groups of these birds; eighteen were successfully hunted with the camera, with field-glasses, and when necessary for identification, with the shotgun." - H.F. Osborn
Signed on the 1/2 title of Volume I: "Inscribed for John M. Phillips by William Beebe January 21st 1919." John M. Phillips was a prominent Pittsburgh industrialist and naturalist who was one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America in Pennsylvania and the nation and is also credited with the development of the Pennsylvania Game Commission. He was closely associated with William T. Hornaday, Director of the New York Zoological Park, with whom he produced the book, "Camp-Fires of the Canadian Rockies."
Zimmer 49; Wood 228; NissenIVB 84; Tate 119; Ellis/Mengel 203 - "perhaps the greatest ornithological work of the present century, notable not only for its beauty and the wealth of information it contains, but also for the unusual grace of its prose"-Mengel
The cloth covers show handling wear and some discoloration, heavier to Volume I; the illustrations including the striking color lithographs and photogravures are clean and fresh and bright.
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