Rex Brasher never veered from the lifelong ambition he first formulated at the age of 10 to draw all the birds of North America. The story of his life is so moving, riveting and detailed that we cannot do justice to it here but refer the reader on to our list of references. Born in July 1869, the son of amateur ornithologist & taxidermist, Philip Marston Brasher, he was descended from a prominent French Huguenot family. Raised in an environment where ornithology was ever present, there was much critical discussion in the household of bird art, including the imperfections in Audubon’s work.
In 1907, Brasher met the famous bird painter, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, at American
Museum of Natural History, and they became good friends. Fuertes was very
influential in the development of Brasher’s artistic range and technique. In
1911 Rex bought a 150 acre farm in Connecticut, the Chickadee Valley, with the
$700 proceeds from a sale of book illustrations. Here, in 1928, almost 100 years
after the publication of Audubon’s Birds of America, Brasher finished his
paintings, which he considered the completion of the work begun by John James
It was truly a magnificent survey of the birds of North America based on 44
years of dedicated toil and sketching in the field. Dwarfing Audubon’s previous
record of 489 species, it illustrated over 2500 figures of birds on 864 plates,
with birds in different states of plumage and development. Listed were 1200
species and sub-species of birds according to the American Ornithologists Union
(AOU) Checklist of North American Birds. The accompanying illustrations of tree
species and bird habitat were also an important contribution to the field.
We are offering a selection of these extremely rare prints, all in excellent condition on strong paper with brilliant original hand coloring. Each print measures 17 ½ inches long by 12 inches wide, an oblong folio. The prints were mounted on a stub of rayon on the left edge
(shown below) to be included in the binder and we have not trimmed this, but it
can be framed out if you wish. There is a copy of the text for almost all the prints and a copy of the original title page signed by Brasher himself will be included. The scans we show do not do justice to the brilliance and subtlety of the hand coloring, so prepare to be as entranced as we are when you receive your order.
Full margins not shown due to size