Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #96 begins on 20 Jan 2022

US Auction #9 has ended

Fry, C Hilary, Stuart Keith and Emil Urban (series editors)

Birds of Africa (7 vols; 1982-2004)

Published: Academic Press (Vols I-VI); Christopher Helm (Vol VII), London; London, 1982-2004

Edition: All firsts

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One of the finest series of bird books to have been published in recent times, this Birds of Africa set needed a quarter of a century to plan and publish, with many of the world's leading authorities (including South African Ken Newman) working under the three series editors.

The bird artist responsible for most of the set's 232 full-page colour plates was Martin Woodcock, with credit for most of the hundreds of line illustrations in the text going to Ian Wallis.

The set runs to a total of 4700 pp, with good indexing and cross-referencing making it easy to use.

All the volumes in this lot are first editions in fine condition, with no ownership names or other markings. Departures from what would otherwise be 'as new' condition are light thumbing (indicating how little this set, from the estate of a leading Johannesburg bird book collector, was used), as well as the minor blemishes noted in the following summary of the volumes, which are bound in matching brown cloth, gilt to the front and spine, and with laminated dustjackets.

Vol I. xiii + 521 pp. Small chip to the dustjacket at the rear top fold.

Vol II. xvi + 552 pp. Headband soft.

Vol III. xvi + 611 pp. Small black horizontal stain at upper middle of the front face of dustjacket.

Vol IV. xv + 609 pp. Small crease to the top front of dustjacket.

Vol V. xix + 669 pp. The last 18 leaves, including some blanks, are lightly rippled at the middle of the outer edge - with no interference to the text.

Vol VI. xvii + 724 pp. Headband soft; 3 cm stain at upper left of front face of dustjacket.

Vol VII. xxi + 666 pp. The top of the front face of the dustjacket and 6 cm of the front upper board and the top of the spine are lightly rubbed.

This complete set is rare in this condition.

  • Jacket Condition: Fine
  • Binding Condition: Fine
  • Overall Condition: Fine
  • Size: 315 x 215; shelf space 35 cm; wight 22 kg
  • Sold By: Fontein Books
  • Contact Person: Richard Proctor-Sims
  • Country: South Africa
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: 051 773 0050/048 079 546 4032
  • Preferred Payment Methods: Eft, or, for overseas buyers, PayPal
  • Trade Associations: AA Approved


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