The Game Birds of India, Burmah, and Ceylon - Allan Octavian Hume, Charles H. T. Marshall 1878 - Hume and Marshall, Calcutta A superb and thus rare example of this three volume work, without restoration or loss, in the original gilt decorated bindings, and containing the complete set of 144 fine chromolithographic plates (no plate for the pea fowl was issued in volume I, which is explained in a note on page 92). All three illustrated title pages are also present.

Hume, ‘
the Father of Indian Ornithology’, put together this work using contributions and notes from a network of 200 or more correspondents. Hume delegated the task of getting the plates made to Marshall. The chromolithographs of the birds were drawn by W. Foster, E. Neale, (Miss) M. Herbert, Stanley Wilson and others and the plates were produced by F. Waller in London. Hume had sent specific notes on colours of soft parts and instructions to the artists. He was unsatisfied with many of the plates and included additional notes on the plates in the book. This book was started at the point when the government demoted Hume and only the need to finance the publication of this book prevented him from retiring from service. He had estimated that it would cost ₤ 4000 to publish it and he retired from service on 1 January 1882 after the publication.
  Allan Octavian Hume, CB ICS (1829-1912) was a member of the Imperial Civil Service (later the Indian Civil Service), a political reformer, ornithologist and botanist who worked in British India. He was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress, a political party that was later to lead in the Indian independence movement. A notable ornithologist, Hume has been called "the Father of Indian Ornithology" and, by those who found him dogmatic, "the Pope of Indian ornithology.

Colonel Charles Henry Tilson Marshall (1841-1927) was a British Army Officer, serving in the Punjab, India, his last post being Assistant Commissioner of Lahore from which he retired in 1896. In his spare time he collected birds in the Punjab and the Himalayas, and sent these to Allan Octavian Hume.

Provenance: Each volume with the contemporary signature of A. C. Hawkins dated 1895, and the small booksellers stamp of Montagu & Bros, Simla

Reference: Nissen,
Die Zoologische Buchillustration, IVB 463. Zimmer, Catalogue of the Edward E. Ayer Ornithological Library, I 314.

Three large octavo volumes (book size volume I - 26.6 x 17 cm; Volumes II and III - 25.6 x 16 cm) pp. [1 (pictorial title)] [1], slip (with publishing details), 1-2, slip (addressed ‘To the Reader’), [2] ii 279 [1]; [1 (pictorial title)] [1], slip (with publishing details), ii 264; [1 (pictorial title)] [1] ii 438, followed by incomplete index consisting of pages i-iii and vi, followed by pages iii and vi again (missing pages iv and v, this is definitely a printers error, as the verso of page ii, in both cases is page vi). Additional errata slips can be found scattered throughout the text. In publisher’s green cloth, lettered and ruled in gilt to spines and front boards, intricate vignettes of birds blocked in gilt to front boards, this pattern and lettering repeated in blind to rear boards all edges trimmed, first volume with brown coated endpapers, volumes II and III with green coated endpapers.
  Condition: Near fine to fine, some light scratches to endpapers, and wear to cloth at corners, volume I with slight split to lower front hinge and toning to title page.   Ref: 109415   Price: HK$ 22,000