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John Gould Hand Colored Lithograph Birds of Great Britain Pied Wagtail

19th Century


This beautiful hand-colored lithograph, Motacilla Yarre;;o (Pied Wagtail) is from John Gould’s BIRDS OF GREAT BRITAIN (1862-1873). Published by Wm. Hart, H. C. Richter and Joseph Wolf from drawings by Hart, Richter, Gould and Wolf, it is universally recognized as being the finest and most comprehensive record of native birds at that time. This mammoth work featured illustrations of 367 different British birds, many of whom are also indigenous to North America.

John Gould (1804-1881) was often called “the Bird Man” and his lifetime work comprised more than 40 volumes with more than 3,000 hand colored plates. A distinguished British naturalist, he learned taxidermy at Windsor Castle where his father was foreman of gardeners.. In 1827 he became taxidermist to the Zoological Society of London. Shortly after he married Elizabeth Coxen, 1827, Gould acquired a collection of bird skins from the Himalayas. After he stuffed and mounted them, he became aware of their artistic possibilities and his career as a bird illustrator began. Elizabeth helped draw, lithograph and color many of the first plates.
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