Smith, Greene | Catalogue of Birds, Eggs and Nests
First edition of this uncommon catalogue of the Greene Smith Museum of birds and their nests and eggs.
Greene Smith (1841-1880) was the son of abolitionist Gerrit Smith and a keen sportsman, amateur taxidermist, and professor of ornithology at Cornell. He founded his museum in Peteroboro, New York in 1863 to house the thousands of specimens of birds, eggs, and nests he had collected – nicknamed the Bird House, it was three stories tall and fitted out with luxuries such as central heating, a mahogany staircase, and marble fixtures, and the collection of hummingbirds alone was estimated to be worth $75,000. Smith died in 1886 while attempting to complete a second, annotated version, of the museum catalogue. Mot of his specimens went to the collections at Cornell, Harvard and Colgate University. The present volume lists all the specimens under their common and scientific names and indicates where they were collected, their sex, and age (adult, young, or young with down).
Museum Greene Smith, Peterboro, N. Y. July 11, 1880. Morrisville, NY: printed at the Madison Observer Office, 1881.
Tall octavo. Original brown cloth, titles to upper boar gilt, triple fillets blocked in blind, edges dyed red. White abrasion and speckled dampstain to the upper board, cloth a little rubbed at the extremities with some small nicks at the edges of the boards, contents very faintly toned. A very good copy.