antique prints, maps and watercolors

Cayenne Wood Nymph (and cactus). A Monograph...of Hummingbirds. London, 1849-1887. $1,400.00

click for detailed image gouldthal10vlg.jpg

“Thalurania Furata” (Cayenne Wood-Nymph)
Shows a male and a female of the species. The plant is the Opuntia Salmiann, a cactus.

John Gould (1804-1881) was the most renowned ornithologist and recorder of birds in Great Britain in the 19th century. He produced over forty separate folio volumes of birds from around the world yet his spectacular A Monograph of the Trochililidae, or Family of Hummingbirds is his most famous work. Each remarkably detailed and gorgeously hand colored bird is drawn to scale and anatomically correct down to the smallest detail. Gould even captured the iridescence of the hummingbird’s plumage with a special technique of mixing metals and varnish with the pigments.  He was involved in all aspects of the production of the book. He selected the species to be depicted, created sketches showing the pose of the birds and composition of their landscape backgrounds, published the works himself and found subscribers to cover the production costs.

Hand colored lithograph.
15 1/4 x 22 inches, sheet.
Excellent condition with light overall patina.