John Gould, Pl. 261 Barbary Partridge, hand-colored lithograph, Birds of Europe, first edition, 1833–37

$550 this week only (list price $800). Offer expires 8-21-2017

Laura Oppenheimer

 

John Gould, Pl. 261 Barbary Partridge, Greek Partridge, hand-colored lithograph, Birds of Europe, first edition, 1832–37

Enjoy significant savings on  Pl. 261, Barbary Partridge, Greek Partridge, Perdix petrosa (Lath.) and Perdix saxitulius (Meyer.), respectively, a superb hand-colored lithograph from John Gould’s Birds of Europe, drawn from nature by John and Elizabeth Gould. In the text that accompanies this plate, Gould reports that a male of each of each species is represented in its natural size. Female Barbary Partridges differ in being slightly smaller, the collar around the neck is somewhat narrower, and the plumage is not quite as bright. There is no difference between the male and female Greek Partridge other than the females being slightly smaller and lacking spurs. 

This plate presents a comparison between two different species of of Red-legged Partridges. Gould notes in the accompanying text that of the three species of Red-legged Partridges that inhabit Europe, two are represented in this plate, and the Greek Partridge (on the right), is the most rare. "In the general character of its plumage, the Perdix petrosa [Barbary Partridge] bears a striking resemblance to the two other species of Red-legged Partridge, which are also indigenous to Europe, but may at once be distinguished by the rufous collar round the neck, thickly spotted with white points. Referring to the Greek Partridge, he states, "In size and general colouring it is not unlike its allied congenitors, which, with one from the Himalaya Mountains, forms a beautiful group, embodying differences, we think, sufficiently marked to warrant its separation into a new genus, distinct from that of which the Common Partridge of our cornfields is a familiar example."

Comprising 448 hand-colored folio-size lithographs in five volumes, John Gould’s monumental Birds of Europe was originally published in 22 parts from 1832 to 1837. The five volumes were classed according to a system designed by the zoologist and politician, Nicholas Aylward Vigors (1785–1840). Vigors co-founded the London Zoological Society in 1826. The majority of the plates were drawn and lithographed by Gould’s talented wife, Elizabeth Coxen Gould, from sketches by John Gould. The artist and author, Edward Lear, contributed 67 of the plates and many of the foregrounds.

Beautiful color and the striking pattern in the partridges feathers distinguish this elegant hand-colored lithograph. In perfect condition, printed by C. Hullmandel and colored by Gabriel Bayfield in London, 1832–1837. Sheet size measures 14.5 x 21.125 inches.

$550 this week only (list price $800). Offer expires 8-21-17.

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John Gould (1804–81) was a prolific publisher of ornithological subjects. In 19th-century Europe, his name was as well recognized as Audubon’s was in North America. Unlike Audubon, whose life’s work focused on one region, Gould traveled widely and employed other artists to help create his lavish, hand-colored lithographic folios.

John Gould’s love of natural history was fostered in the gardens of King George III where his father was chief gardener at Windsor Castle. Initially trained as a gardener, Gould’s interests quickly evolved, and at the age of 20, he was appointed taxidermist to the Zoological Society of London. After three years, he progressed to the position of curator of birds and chief taxidermist. In 1830, newly married, Gould and his artist wife, Elizabeth Gould (née Coxen, 1804 – 1841), began their publishing venture. During a career spanning over half a century, John Gould oversaw the publication of more than a dozen folios on birds of the world.

Among Gould’s many folios are A Monograph of Ramphastidae or Family of Toucans (1834 and 1854), the most flamboyant of Gould’s works. Monograph of the Trochilidae or Family of Humming Birds (1849–61) is Gould’s masterpiece in both breadth and beauty. Produced in London 1862–73, The Birds of Great Britain is considered to be the culmination of Gould's career.

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