While our images are electronically watermarked, the antique prints themselves are not.
Anas cauda New Foundland duck, Pluvialis alis EDS139 $125
Each print measures approximately 9 ½ inches by 15 inches
George Edwards was an English draughtsman and a skilled observer of birds and one of the most prominent ornithologists of his day. He worked as Librarian to the Royal College of Physicians, where he was later elected a fellow, and was honored with the Gold Medal of the Royal Society. As the Librarian to the Royal College of Physicians, he oversaw a library of 8,000 volumes. The small honorarium he received for this post liberated him to pursue his ornithological studies and drawings. He died in West Ham, which was also his birthplace, in 1773.
Natural History and Gleanings was illustrated for the first time many foreign species often drawn from live specimens held in captivity in London. Edwards etched his own plates and then hand colored several copies before supervising others in the coloring. The result is a work of superb skill and breathtaking color that remains ever popular and is now increasingly rare. Such was the impact of Natural History and Gleanings, that Edwards is considered to have almost single-handedly popularized the art of bird and animal illustration, and is thus known as "The Father of British Ornithology."
In 1749-1776, Johann Michael Seligmann, a German engraver re-engraved these George Edwards plates, as well as many by Mark Catesby plates for the "Sammlung Verschiedener Auslandischer un Seltener Vogel" published in Nurenberg. In some cases, botanical and scenic backgrounds were added for superb decorative effect.
(References include Fine Bird Books, p.93, Dictionary of Bird Artist p.431, Nissen, IVB 859, Nissen, SVB 455.)
It is from the Nuremberg, 1768-1776 French Seligmann edition that we are pleased to present these plates in excellent condition. There is very little foxing on the plates and the strong chain lined watermarked paper is a beautiful light creamy color. The ORIGINAL hand coloring is very vibrant & the paper has a rare, silky quality to it. Each print is folio in size, measuring approximately 9 ½ inches by 15 inches, with a few having tight margins on one side, as shown. Most prints are accompanied by a copy of the beautiful title page and a copy of the French descriptive text when available. This work is 250 years old and it is rare indeed to find these very scarce prints in such good condition.
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