A Monograph of the Pittidae
A Monograph of the Pittidae, or, Family of Ant Thrushes.
New York: D.Appleton & Co, [1861-]1863. Folio. (550 x 370MM). with dedication to Philip Lutley Sclater, list of subscribers and 31 fine hand-coloured lithographic plates, heightened with gum arabic, after Elliot, Paul Louis Oudart , E. Maubert , A.Mesnel and one unsigned, drawn on stone by C. P.Tholey and others, printed and coloured by Bowen & Co. of Philadelphia, Contemporary half green morocco gilt, spine gilt , marbled endpapers, gilt edges, fitted green cloth box, a fine copy.
First edition, one of only 200 copies of this beautiful ornithological work, Illustrated by Elliot with his own illustrations, and the scarcest of his major monographs.
Elliot drew and painted all of the drawings himself, except for two plates by Maubert and Mesnel. There is a second edition of this work with the plates redrawn by John Gould's artist, William Hart, and has a new text.The geographical range of the Pittidae stretches from the East coast of Africa, to India, Indonesia and Australia in the East, then to China in the north. The family were evidently particular favourites of Elliot: "It is not often that one returns to his first love and finds her, after many years, more beautiful than ever, as has been my experience in the present instance" (Preface)
This is a very attractive and highly colourful species and must be considered amongst the finest of Elliot’s works.
Fine Bird Books (1990), p. 95;Wood p.332; Nissen IVB 292