AUDEBERT (Jean-Baptiste) - VIEILLOT (Louis-Pierre). Birds with gold or metallic reflections. Natural and general history of hummingbirds, hummingbirds, jacamars and promerops. - Natural and general history of creepers and birds of paradise.
Paris, Desray, 1801-1802.
2 volumes in-folio of -10-128-8-28 pages and 85 plates; -128-40 pages and 105 plates. long-grained red morocco, plates decorated with a large frame of nets and a garland of golden foliage and birds, spines with nerves decorated with golden birds of paradise, gilt edges (Bozérian).
ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFULLY WORKED BIRDS, regarded as the most perfect that ever appeared in this genre. The 190 plates on which it is decorated are of the greatest beauty, coloured with gold and silver reflections, with gold legends. Only 215 copies were printed in this large in folio format, 15 of which were entirely printed in gold, reserved for crowned heads.
The plates printed by Langlois represent a large number of new species, some of which are now extinct. The birds' plumage glistens, changes colour and appearance depending on the reader's angle of view. To create such a feat, the publisher indicates in the preface :
"I have reason to believe that the perfection of the figures I publish, will impose silence on some naturalists, outraged detractors of colored figures in Natural History.
It is only with the help of a painter that one can well name all the changing nuances of these birds. To recognize them well, it is enough to put the individual in the same situation where the painter drew him.
This position is indicated by the illuminated and shaded parts of the figure: then, either by placing it in front of, above or below the eye, or by turning it in various ways, one will easily be able to discover the colours in which it was painted". (Editor's note).