Willughby Ornithology Bird Prints 1678

While our images are electronically watermarked, the antique prints themselves are not.

Crested Tit, Oxeye WY43 $95
Each print measures approximately 8 3/4 inches by 13 1/2 inches

It is with considerable enthusiasm that we present prints from one of the first and greatest English works on ornithology.  We have been waiting more than a few years to locate a collection of such plates, in order to complete a fine volume that is lacking a few prints & have some of these scarce prints to offer in our listings.

Francis Willughby (1635-1672) was the son of Sir Francis Willughby, born at The Willughby family seat, Wollaton Hall, now owned by the City of Nottingham, and housing Willughby and Ray's natural history collection.

Willughby studied at Trinity College in Cambridge, where he became friendly with one of his tutors, John Ray (1627-1705).  Financed by the prosperous Willughby, the two travelled Europe researching & collecting material for their scientific works.

The Ornithology is the first organized ornithological work in England, considered one of the most important on ornithology ever.  The work is distinguished by pre-Linnaean attempts at systematic classification & the recognition of species of birds.  Willoughby had many novel scientific concepts, including transfusing animals. His tragic early death before the publication of the Ornithology  was a great loss to the scientific community.  Willughby also published the first English book of games, which is an invaluable resource on 17th century games to this day, and Historia Piscium.

References include http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Willughby
Peter Dance Art of Natural History p.35-36

After Willughby’s death, Ray translated the work from Latin into English, completed the engravings and it was published in 1678.  It is from this first English edition that we are proud to offer prints.  The impressions are strong and the paper is a soft chain linked white, in remarkable condition for its age, with few blemishes. Each print measures approximately 9 inches by 14 inches and comes with a color facsimile of the title page, printed in black & red.  Ray himself was not pleased with the quality of all of the engravings, done by the best engravers of the time, but there is a wonderful 17th century quality to the prints which makes them highly sought after by collectors of bird prints.  After all, this is the first attempt by ornithologists at systematic classification, over 328 years ago. Though generally in good condition, especially for their age, these prints have minor defects such as toning, margin slits, and a few wormholes.

We accept credit cards & PayPal. Washington state residents pay Washington state sales tax. Shipping for this item is $8.95. Items can be combined to save on postage. Our environment is smoke free. We pack professionally using only new materials. All items are beautifully wrapped and suitable for sending directly as gifts. You may return any item within 7 days if not satisfied. To order, you may call us at 1-888-PANTEEK, fax or email.


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