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18th Century Bird Engravings From Lowry-James Rare Prints & Books


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Pl 188. The Gros-beak or Haw-finch
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Pl 188. The Gros-beak or Haw-finch

By Edwards, George.

London:: The College of Physicians,, 1743-51.. First edition. Fine with original hand-coloring. Pl 188. The Gros-beak or Haw-finch. Original hand-colored copperplate engraving. Quarto (9 x 12 inches). Includes text. George Edwards, (1694-1773) rejected his early formal training and potential career in business to pursue his inherent passionate-natural history. His dedication and talent as a draftsman and naturalist was evident, thus gaining the attention of Sir Hans Sloane, President of the College of Physicians and the Royal Society. Sir Sloane offered Edwards the post of Librarian of the Royal College of Physicians in London, and enlisted him to sketch the natural curiosities of his private museum. This connection became the impetus for Edward's masterful achievement- A Natural History of Uncommon Birds (1743-1751) and the subsequent Gleanings of Natural History (1758-1764). Many of the plates depicted the previously unrecorded curiosities (birds, reptiles, insects, etc) Edwards was privileged to view in Britain's grand private collections. A monumental achievement, Edwards documented (in English and French), painted, engraved and colored every one of the fine compositions in this Pre-Linnaean Natural History. Although not a field naturalist, Edwards placed many of his birds and animals in landscaped settings, which was unusual for the time. In other compositions birds are elegantly perched on stylized branches in a classic Georgian format, more decorative than realistic, charming nonetheless. A gracious and humble man, Edwards established firm and respected alliances with naturalist pioneers Carl Linnaeus (1707-78), Mark Catesby, (1683-1749) from whom he learned the art of engraving and subsequently revised his The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, London c.1754, and William Bartram, from whom he acquired several species of Pennsylvanian birds included in his volumes. As Edwards' work predates the completion of the Linnaean classification system, Linnaeus was to borrow the English names of many of Edwards species for his renowned work on classification and nomenclature. (Ref: Buchanan, Jackson, Fine Bird Books.)

$225.00

Pl. 121 The American Nightingale & the Green Sparrow or Green (Ruby-throated) Hummingbird
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Pl. 121 The American Nightingale & the Green Sparrow or Green (Ruby-throated) Hummingbird

By Edwards, George.

London:: The College of Physicians,, 1743-51.. First edition. Fine with original hand-coloring. Pl. 121 The American Nightingale & the Green Sparrow or Green (Ruby-throated) Hummingbird. Original hand-colored copperplate engraving. Quarto (11.5 x 9 inches). Includes text. George Edwards, (1694-1773) rejected his early formal training and potential career in business to pursue his inherent passionate-natural history. His dedication and talent as a draftsman and naturalist was evident, thus gaining the attention of Sir Hans Sloane, President of the College of Physicians and the Royal Society. Sir Sloane offered Edwards the post of Librarian of the Royal College of Physicians in London, and enlisted him to sketch the natural curiosities of his private museum. This connection became the impetus for Edward's masterful achievement- A Natural History of Uncommon Birds (1743-1751) and the subsequent Gleanings of Natural History (1758-1764). Many of the plates depicted the previously unrecorded curiosities (birds, reptiles, insects, etc) Edwards was privileged to view in Britain's grand private collections. A monumental achievement, Edwards documented (in English and French), painted, engraved and colored every one of the fine compositions in this Pre-Linnaean Natural History. Although not a field naturalist, Edwards placed many of his birds and animals in landscaped settings, which was unusual for the time. In other compositions birds are elegantly perched on stylized branches in a classic Georgian format, more decorative than realistic, charming nonetheless. A gracious and humble man, Edwards established firm and respected alliances with naturalist pioneers Carl Linnaeus (1707-78), Mark Catesby, (1683-1749) from whom he learned the art of engraving and subsequently revised his The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, London c.1754, and William Bartram, from whom he acquired several species of Pennsylvanian birds included in his volumes. As Edwards' work predates the completion of the Linnaean classification system, Linnaeus was to borrow the English names of many of Edwards species for his renowned work on classification and nomenclature. (Ref: Buchanan, Jackson, Fine Bird Books.)

$225.00