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Bird, A V (author and editor); C S Barlow (foreword); and others
The paintings of Norman Lighton for Roberts Birds of South Africa (number 12 of signed first edition limited to 300 copies) (1976)
Plates from original paintings by Norman C K Lighton
South African Natural History Publication Company, Cape Town, 1976
tipped-in frontispiece of new Lighton painting by for this first (best) edition (limited to 300 signed copies, of which this is number 12) and the subscribers' edition (limited to 350 copies)
full-bound in heavy blue calf, gilt-lettered to upper panel and spine, 12 pp of text + 51 colour plates from Lighton's original large paintings for Roberts with the same number of caption pages
five of the original paintings were missing: plate 1 (ostrich) was replaced by the new frontispiece; plates 31 and 32 (larks and swallows) were "destroyed by enemy action during World War II", while plates 40 and 48 (cisticolas and sunbirds) "disappeared", one after being copied for cigarette cards
the publisher's rationale was to show Lighton's original paintings in the best possible light; the 559 x 396 mm originals were reduced for Roberts to 159 x 113 mm (28%) and printed by "harsh" letterpress; and to 375 x 266 mm (67%) and printed by "softer" lithography
the cover corners are lightly bumped; the frontispiece page is sunned from the tipped-in illustration; otherwise the book is complete, unmarked and undiscoloured and near very good