antique prints, maps and watercolors

Plate 458 (Snowy Owl) Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux..., Paris 1780-6. Sold


"Le Harfang"

Francois Martinet was one of the foremost bird artists of 18th century France.  He collaborated with Count Georges-Louis Leclerc du Buffon to produce the charming, lively, brightly colored engravings of exotic and common bird, which are sought after and valued by interior designers as well as collectors.  In Fine Bird Books, Sacheverell Sitwell notes that Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux… was “certainly the most ambitious and comprehensive book which had appeared at the time of its publication, and ranks still as one of the most important of all bird books from the collector’s point of view.” (Sitwell, p. 64)  Martinet surrounded his images with a distinctive yellow border that some believe to be the predecessor to French matting.


Hand colored copperplate engraving on watermarked paper.
13 x 10.5 inches sheet.
Very good condition some staining along outside edge of sheet.