Seebohm/Sharpe, Monograph of the Turdidae

A Monograph of the Turdidae, or Family of Thrushes.

Henry Seebohm and R(ichard) Bowdler Sharpe.               

Henry Sotheran & Co. (London).                


Of all the journals and monographs Keulemans contributed to, the 149 plates he was commissioned to create for A Monograph of the Turdidae rank among his magnum opus.  With the exception of the many he had created for Henry Eeles Dresser's History of the Birds of Europe, Keulemans contributed more to this monograph than to any other.


Henry Seebohm (1832--1895) had been preparing a work on the thrushes for some time before his death.  (He had previously authored the fifth volume of the Catalogue of the Birds in the British Museum, which included the Turdidae).  Seebohm had only the text section on the genus of ground thrushes, Geocichla, written when Richard Bowdler Sharpe began working on completing the monograph, though many of the plates had already been prepared, (despite a number of them being found to be unsatisfactory on account of their coloring and having to be produced again).  The parts of the first volume, in folio, were issued 1898--1899, and publication of the second volume was completed in 1902.  The late co-author's portrait appeared as the frontispiece to parts 12/13 (issued jointly), bearing the inscription "Yours truly Henry Seebohm."  (This portrait had actually been intended to be the frontispiece of part 1).


The authors conceded that Turdidae did not encompass the whole of what was then recognized as the thrush family of that name, but what was chiefly considered to be the "true" thrushes, and their arrangement lumped the group into three other genera besides that of the nominate:  Geocichla, Merula, and Mimocichla.  Later evaluation of this, as reflected by Richard Howard and Alick Moore (A Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World, second ed., Academic Press), used the name Zoothera for Geocichla, submerged the other two genera into Turdus, and placed several forms of Turdus within Catharus.  Elsewhere the arrangement was split allowing for six more genera:  Ixoreus, Ridgwayia, Cichlherminia, Catharus, Hylocichla, Platycichla, and Psophocichla.


The parts were issued as follows:

1--5  (1898)  1 (pls. I--XII); 2 (pls. XIII--XXIV); 3 (XXV--XXXVI); 4 (XXXVII--XLVII); 5 (XLVIII--LX)

6--7  (1899)  6 (pls. LXI--LXXII); 7 (LXXIII--LXXXV)

8--10  (1900)  8 (pls. LXXXVI--XCVII); 9 (XCVIII-CVIII); 10 (CIX--CXX)

11  (1901)  (pls. CXXI--CXXXII)

12/13 (jointly)  (1902)  (pls. CXXXIII--CXLIX)

(It is important to note that part 7 concludes the first volume and at the same time begins the second).


The pagination is as follows:  Volume I:  pp. 1--338.  Volume II:  pp. 1--250.

Appendix Vol. I: pp. 227--238 (Vol. II).  Appendix Vol. II:  pp. 239--240.

Addenda:  pp. 241--242.  Index:  pp. 243--250. 

(In addition, pp. 247--250 were, in certain printings, duplicated). 


The plates were pressed by firm of Hanhart, but with some exceptions (indicated by an asterisk where they are noted) were also issued by Mintern or Judd & Co. 


This exhibit of Turdidae includes all of the plates and is featured on four webpages, with links provided below to access them.


**Pages 2--4 links below

Additional images of plates from this exhibit are also featured here--


XL  Turdus musicus.

(Vol. I, p. 131)




 XXXIII  Geocichla (Zoothera) terrestris.


 (Vol. I, p. 107)

Plate CXXX


XXXIX.  Turdus iliacus.

Plate XXXV

Plate LXII



Plate L.
Turdus crotopezus.
[Turdus] tristis.



LXXXVI.  Merula rufitorques.


Plate CI.

Plate CXL.


Plate XLII.  Turdus viscivorus

(partly cropped)

Plate XLVI.

Turdus auduboni,

Turdus pallasi.

Plate XLV.

Turdus aliciae,

Turdus ustulatus,

Turdus swainsoni.



 Additional pictures are available through this link--

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