antique prints, maps and watercolors

(Blue bellied Finch) Rare and Curious Birds… London 1794-99. One of a set of six. $6,800.00

“Blue Bellied Finch”

William Hayes was a British naturalist who produced two wonderful ornithological works, A Natural History of British Birds (1775) and Rare and Curious Birds Accurately Drawn and Colored from Their Specimens in the Menagerie at Osterly Park (1794-99).  Although self -taught, Hayes birds are beautifully detailed and quite accurate descriptions of live specimens kept in captivity.

 In the mid-1780s, Hayes moved to Southall, near Osterley Park, a large estate and manor house and menagerie belonging to Robert and Sarah Child in West London, dating back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The Childs collected exotic birds and commissioned Hayes to produce paintings of the birds in their menagerie. After their deaths, Hayes was left without a patron. With ten children to support he decided to issue Rare and Curious Birds in the Menagerie at Osterly Park. Seven of Hayes “pupils” or children were employed in producing the illustrations.

“The number of people involved and the extraordinary lack of organization within the family resulted in wide disparity in the illustrations present in the known copies of this book…When an order for a copy was received, the family assembled any available plates, and added the latest etching of a new species that one of the had produced or a new drawing of an earlier plate that Hayes thought unsatisfactory. This unique collection of plates and text would then be sent off to the Subscriber .”
ref: The Library of H. Bradley Martin Magnificent Color-Plate Ornithology, #122

There engravings are quite scarce as Hayes did not produce many books or loose prints. This is ONE of a SET OF SIX framed engravings with full bright original hand tinting. We have never had a such a wonderfully decorative collection and are very pleased to be able to offer these for sale.

Ref:  Fine Bird Books p 105

Engraving with full original hand color
Period frame measuring 13 ¼ x 11 inches outside dimension.
Excellent original condition.