Antiquarian Auctions

SA Auction #84 ends in

US Auction #3 begins on 13 Aug 2020

Richard Meinertzhagen

Birds of Arabia

Published: Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1954

Edition: First edition

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First edition (pp. xiii, 624, index). Small folio (28cm), illustrated with 19 full-page colour plates, nine full-page photo plates, 53 text figures, 35 text maps, and one fold-out map in rear pocket. Illustrations by Henry (those with more or less realistically portrayed background), Lodge (with impressionistic background), and Kelly are given short shrift in Meinertzhagen’s introduction.

In three-quarter tan morocco over complimentary marbled boards, gilt titles and decorations to spine, five raised bands, matching marbled endpapers.

The first account of the birds of the Peninsula, together with those of the Sinai, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Palestine. Meinertzhagen was long associated with Britain’s political and military affairs in the Middle East from early in the twentieth century, and his ornithology is a highly personal one - notably his account of the Lammergeier. With the bookplate and from the collection of the noted African ornithologist Peter Steyn (Eagle Days, Hunters of the African Sky) who has left several neat penciled ms. notes - one (p. 544) on sighting a skua at Dubai and the other (p. 575) recording a conversation on the Syrian ostrich, by then apparently gone, with a prominent member of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi. (At this place Steyn suggests, not altogether persuasively, that Meinertzhagen should have described an ostrich’s rapid propulsion as ‘fleeing’ rather than as ‘in flight’.)

A fine and impressively handsome volume in bespoke binding with an interesting association. Good on the birds, too.

  • Sold By: Trillium Antiquarian Books
  • Contact Person: William Van Nest
  • Country: Canada
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 705-749-0461
  • Preferred Payment Methods: cheque, money order, Paypal for credit cards, wire
  • Trade Associations: IOBA

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