The ‘Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux’ by Comte de Georges Louis Leclerc Buffon (1707-88) ranks as one of the most important bird books of the era due not in the least to the fact that it was the most ambitious and comprehensive at the time. The text to the work was drawn from the nine ornithological volumes of Buffon’s ‘Histoire Naturelle Générale et Particulière’ published 1749-1804. A larger and fully coloured version was called for and for this Francois Nicolas Martinet (c.1725-c.1804) supplied the plates supervised by Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton (1716-1800). They are admired for their beauty and colour. Anker (1979) 76; Fine Bird Books (1990) 63; Nissen IVB (1976) 158.