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The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd.Natural History


Antique Bird Prints

Ornithological illustrations were created not just as part of the pursuit of scientific knowledge
but also as objects of considerable æsthetic beauty.

[ Audubon (folio) | Audubon (first octavo) | Audubon (second octavo) | Catesby | Christian Knowledge ]
[ Daniell | Doughty | Edwards | Gentry | Gould | Latham | Lewin | Malherbe | Miller | Pennant | Pope | Selby | Wilson ]


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Catesby
Mark Catesby. [1731-43].

Bird prints from the first natural history of American flora & fauna. Folio. Ca. $1,700 to $4,000.

Edwards
George Edwards. 1751-1758.

Prints by the 'father of British ornithology.' Quarto. $175-$350.

Seligmann
Johann Michael Seligmann. [1749-76].

German edition prints after Mark Catesby and George Edwards. Small folio. $350 to $750.

Audubon
John James Audubon. 1827-39/1860.

Incomparable, double-elephant folio prints by Audubon. Ca. $2,000 to $125,000.

Audubon octavo
John James Audubon. 1840-44.

Lovely and affordable, reduced versions of Audubon's birds. First edition. Royal octavo. Ca. $150 to $3,250

Audubon octavo
John James Audubon. 1856.

Second edition, octavo prints. Royal octavo. $175 to $275.

Lewis
William Lewin. 1789-1801.

Birds of Great Britain, both first edition watercolors and second edition engravings. Quarto. $90 to $450.

Wilson
Alexander Wilson. [1803-33].

Bird prints from the first American ornithology. Folio. $250 to $575.

Daniell
William Daniell. 1807.

Natural history prints by this noted British artist. Octavo. $75 to $90.

Doughty
Thomas Doughty. 1830-32.

Unusual images from an early American sporting work. Quarto. $175 to $250.

Christian Knowledge
Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge. 1845-47.

Unusual images from a British work. Quarto. $125 to $270.

Gould
John Gould. 1832-88.

Hummingbirds and other birds illustrated by the "Bird Man." Folio. $350 to $1,900.

Pope
Alexander Pope. 1877-78.

Upland Game Birds and Water Fowl of the United States. Folio $450 to $650.

Gentry
Thomas Gentry. 1882.

Nests and Eggs of Birds of the United States. Quarto. $65 to $150.

Miller
John Frederick Miller. [1796-]1822.

Cimelia Physica. Folio. $425 to $750.

Miller
Thomas Pennant. 1766.

The British Zoology. Folio. $300 to $700.

Malherbe icon
Alfred Malherbe. 1861.

Monographie des Picidées. Folio. $475 to $650.

Selby
Prideaux John Selby. 1821-1834.

Illustrations of Ornithology. Folio. $300 to $600.


Albin: Siskin
Pl. 76. "The Siskin or Albadavine." From Eleazer Albin's A Natural History of Birds. London, 1731-1738. Quarto. 10 x 7 1/2 (platemark). Engravings. Original hand color. Subtitle: "Curiously Engraven from the Life, and Exactly Colour'd by the Author." Full margins. Fine condition.

From a delightful set of prints from Albin's A Natural History of Birds, one of the first British bird books with colored plates. Plates were drawn either by Albin or his daughter Elizabeth, and while not noted for their scientific accuracy, their early date and charming appearance makes them very collectable. The images are copper engravings which were hand colored by Eleazer and Elizabeth "from the Originals, drawn from the live Birds." This is a delightful example of early eighteenth century ornithology. $145



Martinet: Agamie de CayenneSpacerMartinet: Courly Blanc
After various artists. From Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon's Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux. Paris, [1749-1804]. Small folio. Engravings by F.N. Martinet. Original hand-coloring. Fine condition.

The greatest name in France in the field of natural history during the eighteenth century was the Comte de Buffon (1707-1788). Known best in America as the target of Jefferson's Notes on Virginia in which the patriotic American scholar argued against a theory that New World species were inferior, Buffon enjoys a much greater reputation in Europe. He was to France what Linnaeus was to Sweden, and he is best known as the first natural scientist to postulate that man evolved from apes.

Prints from his Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux, have a delicacy of drawing and engraving that has lead some to claim that they are the finest ever published. Buffon believed that there were between fifteen hundred and two thousand species of birds in the world, and he was in the forefront in attempting to name them. He usually gave them colloquial names and left the classification with Latin titles to be done by others. Drawn by Buffon and other artists, these prints were engraved by Martinet and hand-colored at the time.



Lord: Male TealSpacerLord: Male ShovelerSpacerLord: Summer Teal
From Thomas Lord's Entire System of Ornithology or Ecumenical History of British Birds. Line engravings (hand colored). London: by the author, 1791-96. 8 1/4 x 11 3/4 (plate mark). Light mat burn. Else very good condition.

This ornithology is one of the rarest to be found complete because even when it was issued, the plates were considered obsolete for science and primitive as art. Thus, not many copies were sold. Mullens and Swann's Bibliography of British Ornithology praises the art and states that the dating of each plate is very useful. Over the years these inheritors of the concepts of George Edwards, Marc Catesby and the Count de Buffon have taken on an aura of folk art in their own right. They are clear, bright, and delightful.



Based on Francois Levaillant's Histoire naturelle des Oiseaux d'Afrique, first published in Paris 1796-1808. 9 1/4 x 7 1/4 (platemark). Etchings. Original hand color. These plates are from a rare and never completed London edition with these dated 1805-1808. No record of these prints is found in Sitwell or Anker.

Levaillant is credited with being the best recorder of exotic birds until the advent of John Gould and his colleagues in the mid-nineteenth century. The artist was Johann Lebrecht Reinold who worked closely with the editor to open the world of African ornithology to Europeans. Sitwell records copying but incomplete editions in Nuremberg, 1797-1802, Halle in 1798, and Amsterdam in 1812. These prints were engraved by Pass and Reynolds in London and published by J. Wilkes. The misnumbering is evidence that these were trial printings and not part of a finished work. The quality of the engraving and hand coloring is superb.



Latham: The SecretarySpacerLatham: Duree FinchSpacerLatham: Woolly Penguin

John Latham. From A General History of Birds. London: 1821-28. Quarto. Engravings with original hand color. Condition as noted.

John Latham (1740-1837) was an English physician, naturalist and author. Frequently given the title, "grandfather" of Australian ornithology, he catalogued and named many Australian species.



Smit pl. 94SpacerSmit pl. 92SpacerSmit pl. 93

Joseph Smit. Plate from P. L. Sclater, "Supplementary Notes on the Curassows now or lately living in the Society's Gardens." London: Transactions of the Zoological Society of London, Vol. 10, part 12, 1879. 12 1/4 x 9 1/2. Lithograph. Printed by M. & N. Hanhart. Very good condition.

These attractive birds, mostly native to South America, were illustrated by Dutch born Smit (1836-1929). Joseph Smit relocated in 1866 with his wife and family to London where he met Joseph Wolf (1820-1899),one of the world's finest animal painters. They formed both a friendship and a collaboration, illustrating many bird and mammal books together during the 1870s through the 1890s, with Wolf doing the drawing and Smit the lithography. After Wolf's death Smit worked less on bird books, becoming the leading mammal illustrator in England for the rest of his productive life.

Philip Lutley Sclater (1829-1913) was an English lawyer and zoologist, expert ornithologist, and for 42 years the Secretary of the Zoological Society of London.



Plate 29SpacerPl. 33SpacerPl. 32

John Gerrard Keulemans. Plate from L. W. Rothschild, "A monograph of the genus Casuarius, with a dissertation on the morphology and phylogeny of the Palæognathae (Ratitae and Crypturi) and Neognathae (Carinatae) by W.P. Pycraft." Transactions of the Zoological Society of London, Vol. 15, part 5, 1900. 12 1/4 x 9 1/2. Lithograph. London: printed by Mintern Brothers. Very good condition.

These beautiful illustrations of Cassowaries, primarily found in Australia, were drawn by Dutch born John Gerrard Keulemans (1842-1912). Keulemans, a skilled scientific artist in late 19th-century England, became one of the best-known and most prolific bird illustrators in a world exploding with discoveries, descriptions, and publications of species of animals and plants from all over the globe. Excelling at draftsmanship, his consistently high standard of scientific precision and accuracy was so widely acknowledged and appreciated that an extraordinary number of the major ornithological monographs published between 1870 and 1910 contained illustrations by Keulemans as artist, lithographer or both, as in this case, illustrating an article by the famed naturalist, financier and member of Parliament Lionel Walter Rothschild (1868-1937), 2nd Baron Rothschild.



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[ Audubon (folio) | Audubon (first octavo) | Audubon (second octavo) | Catesby | Christian Knowledge ]
[ Daniell | Doughty | Edwards | Gentry | Gould | Lewin | Malherbe | Miller | Pennant | Pope | Selby | Wilson ]


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