Alexander Wilson, 1st edition, Pl. 6 Maryland Yellow throat; Yellow breasted Chat; Summer Red Bird; Indigo Bird; American Redstart; hand-colored engraving, American Ornithology, 1808–1829

$625 this week only (list price $900). Offer expires 4-9-2018

Laura Oppenheimer

Alexander Wilson, 1st edition, Pl. 6 Maryland Yellow throat; Yellow breasted Chat; Summer Red Bird; Indigo Bird; American Redstart; American Ornithology, hand-colored engraving, 1808–1829

Acquire Pl 6, Maryland Yellow throat; Yellow breasted Chat; Summer Red Bird; Indigo Bird; American Redstart, a superb antique engraving from Alexander Wilson's American Ornithology, specially priced this week only. The species depicted in the plate are: Fig 1, Maryland Yellow-throat, Sylvia marylandica, current name, common yellowthroat, geothlypsis trichas; Fig 2, Yellow-breasted Chat, Pipra polyglotta; current name, Yellow-breasted Chat, Icteria virens; Fig 3, Summer Red-bird, Tanagra aestiva, male, current name, Summer Tanager, Piranga rubra; Fig. 4, Summer Red-bird, Tanagra aestiva, female; Fig. 5, Indigo Bird, Fringilla cyanea, current name Indigo Bunting, Passerina cyanea; and Fig. 6, American Redstart, Muscicapapa ruticilla, current name American Redstart, Setophaga ruticilla. Wilson's beautiful horizontal songbird composition is a feast of color and detail for the eyes.

Comprising 76 hand-colored engravings, American Ornithology depicts 262 species of birds. It is the first American ornithology published in in America. We offer a large selection of Wilson’s work. All plates are in excellent condition. These museum-quality, hand-colored engravings remain very affordable. In fact, we feel that Wilson’s work is undervalued.

Drawn from nature by A. Wilson, engraved by Alexander Lawson. In perfect condition, richly hand-colored engraving, excellent impression, 13.75 x 10.375 inches.

 $625 this week only (list price $900). Offer expires 4-9-18.

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Born in Paisley, Scotland, Alexander Wilson (1766–1813) was a weaver of silk, a peddler, and published author of poetry and social satire. Briefly jailed for libel over satirical poems, Wilson immigrated to the United States in 1794 and established himself in Philadelphia.

Learning in 1801 of Bartram’s Garden, a center for the scientific study of nature established in 1728 by the botanist and naturalist, John Bartram, he met William Bartram, John Bartram’s son and successor in operating the garden. William Bartram fostered Wilson’s interest in ornithology, and in 1803 they began to collect “all [the] finest birds [in the United States].” Wilson traveled observing birds and collecting specimens before returning to Philadelphia. The first of nine volumes of American Ornithology was published by Bradford and Inskeep in 1808.

The first comprehensive work published in the United States on the subject of ornithology, American Ornithology added 39 new species to those previously known and earned Wilson the title “Father of American Ornithology.” Far more accurate than those who preceded him in the field of ornithology, his engravings and descriptions were well recognized in his lifetime. Wilson never recovered from his last exhausting river crossing in pursuit of an elusive specimen. He died in 1813 at age 47, one volume short of completing American Ornithology.

For further information or to purchase, please call the gallery at 312-642-5300.

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