Birds of Australia

Birds of Australia
Birds of Australia

The book block was purchased already stitched, as one of a limited edition set of reproductions of Broinowski's classic set of drawings and descriptions from 1870. The reproductions were commissioned by the Broinowski family as a 100th anniversary edition.

The book block remained untrimmed from the printer, still showing the print registration marks. Once trimmed and cased, the book is 395mm x 290mm x 25mm. It is covered in a green textured cloth, with gold lettering.

The Solander style box is covered in a dark grey textured cloth of the same family as the book, with birds inlaid in the inside, together with additional gold embossing. The box when closed is 440mm x 320mm x 50mm, and when opened is 440mm x 685mm x 50mm. This needs a lot of space to open. The construction of the box and book case used approximately 400 ml of adhesive and paste, and nearly 2 square metres of book cloth.

Bird detail in Solander box

The bird detail was cut by taping a layer of grey, a layer of green and a paper image one on top of the other. Then with a very sharp scalpel all three layers were cut at the same time. This resulted in a perfectly fitting green bird in a dark grey background. (And also a dark grey bird in a green background.)

Colour plate from Birds of Australia

The plates are absolutely superb. The book does not represent a complete copy of the original, which was in a number of volumes. However, it does have 30 of the original 300 plates and descriptions.

A big thanks to B Houlten, who brought in one of the reproductions bound as part of the original print run in 1987. Thanks to the RAS, for the Best in Show award for 2012.