John Gould, Pl. 384 Goosander, hand-colored lithograph, Birds of Europe, 1832–37
$1,975 this week only (list price $3,200). Offer expires 4-17-17.


John Gould, Pl. 384 Goosander, hand-colored lithograph, Birds of Europe, 1832–37

Enjoy significant savings on Pl. 384, Goosander, Mergus mergamser (Linn.), Le Grand Harle, a superb hand-colored lithograph from John Gould’s Birds of Europe. Drawn from nature and signed in the stone by John and Elizabeth Gould and printed by Charles Hullmandel. A male and female are depicted in full plumage, two thirds the natural size.

In the accompanying text, Gould proclaims, “Pre-eminently distinguished by the breadth and boldness of its colouring and the delicacy of some its tints, the Goosander, both from its beauty and superiority of size, is entitled to rank as the finest of its genus; admirably adapted for diving, it possesses great power and agility in the water; its flight also, when once fairly on the wing, is strong and rapid.”

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.

Strikingly beautiful in its flowing design and color, the composition fills the plate. In perfect condition, printed by C. Hullmandel and colored by Gabriel Bayfield in London, 1832–1837. Sheet size measures 14.5 x 21.5 inches.

$1,975 this week only (list price $3,200). Offer expires 4-17-17.

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John Gould (1804–81) was a prolific publisher of ornithological subjects. In nineteenth-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. At the age of 14, he apprenticed as a gardener at Windsor Castle, where he also became proficient at taxidermy. Gould’s interests quickly evolved, and in 1827 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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John Gould, Pl. 384 Goosander, hand-colored lithograph, Birds of Europe, 1832–37
Laura Oppenheimer 10 April, 2017
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