For all the bad press Walter Buller gets for his activities as a bird stuffer you've got to hand it to him, he pulled one out of the bag with his first edition of A History of the Birds of New Zealand.
I'm currently fortunate enough to be involved in curating an exhibition titled New Zealand Illustrated: Pictorial Books from the Victorian Age and the the star of the exhibition is Buller's lavishly illustrated A History of the Birds of New Zealand from 1873. The hand-coloured lithographs after Johannes Keuleman's original drawings simply shimmer on the pages of this book, they are so delicately executed and coloured it has been a great experience to see this book in person.
Drawn largely from the Christchurch City Libraries excellent rare books collection New Zealand Illustrated: Pictorial Books from the Victorian Age offers Christchurch audiences a chance to view historial New Zealand art, albiet in book form, which has been largely absent from the city's art scene with the closure of the Christchurch Art Gallery post the earthquakes.
Other books include George French Angas' monumental volume The New Zealanders Illustrated (1847) and three examples of New Zealand botanical books by the Victorian artists Georgina Hetley, Sarah Featon and Emily Harris.
The exhibtion opens at Central Library Peterborough on 29th October and runs until 2nd December so make sure you head down to see it if you like books.