“Birds of Australia” sold for € 255,000 – Highlight of an auction sale in Germany

A unique copy of John Gould’s “Birds of Australia”, printed 1840-­1869 in London and containing two additional plates so far unknown to all bibliographers, has been sold for Euro 255,000 (approx. US $ 320,000) incl. buyer’s premium in an auction sale by Reiss & Sohn in Königstein, Germany. The eight-volume work was part of a collection of 26 outstandingly precious, abundantly illustrated books on ornithology, including eleven of John Gould’s famous 19th century monographs. Other great folio works by John Gould sold were his “Birds of Asia” (Euro 150,000) and his amazing “Monograph of Trochilidae, or family of humming-birds” (Euro 116,000).

Altogether, the collection sold for a total of Euro 1.2 million. The highest price (Euro 266,000) was paid for a magnificent copy of Buffon’s “Histoire naturelle des oiseaux” (15 volumes, printed 1771-­1786 in the Imprimerie Royale of Paris, the rare “Edition sur grand papier”).