This delightful work of 81 colored wood-engraved plates was printed by Benjamin Fawcett after drawings by A.F. Lydon. The prints are hand finished, particularly the eyes and the beak, and on some there is a beautiful silvery wash applied to the feathers. We are very pleased to offer all 81 prints of this rare work.
Benjamin Fawcett was one of the greatest color printers of the 19th century. He pioneered a system of wood block engraving from multiple wood blocks that resulted in vivid finely colored works such as this marvelous book. Other examples of this original printing technique are Couch's History of the Fishes of the British Islands and Houghton's British Fresh Water Fishes. Fawcett had an association of some 50 years with Francis Orpen Morris to produce many beautiful works on birds, including the highly successful A History of British Birds. Greene's Parrots in Captivity is an authoritative and studious work of the time and is probably the original "how to" book on raising parrots in captivity. It is full of extensive notes on the feeding and successful rearing of each bird according to the philosophy of the day. The illustrations are very vivid, beautifully colored wood engravings and are among the finest of all the illustrations of parrots from this period. In the words of the author, this work was an "attempt in the direction of familiarizing the public with a most delightful class of birds" Reference: Fine Bird Books 1990, p103.
Greene states in his introduction to volume 2, "the height of our ambition in the bird-keeping line for many years was to have a Parrot of our own," a sentiment shared by so many that, in the intervening 124 years since this beautiful work was published, many of the species illustrated are now endangered or extinct. One can only hope that these fine prints can now assuage some of the longing that it initially created & contentment can be had from the images alone!
The prints are in remarkable condition, with the colors of a beauty and vividness still fresh and vibrant to this day. The paper is lightly tones, and the colors are still very intense. Each print measures approximately 6 ½ inches wide by 9 ½ inches long with generous margins. There is descriptive text included with each print and a copy of the title page. Please review the photos carefully as they are very accurate.