antique prints, maps and watercolors

(Flycatcher, anteater, warbler) American Ornithology... Philadelphia: Carey & Lea, 1825-33. $525.00

click for detailed image bonaparteflycatchervlg.jpg

"Fork-tailed Flycatcher / rocky Mountain Anteater / Female Golden-winged Warbler"

Charles Bonaparte was a nephew of Napoleon and a well-known scientist. While living at his exiled uncle Joseph’s estate in New Jersey, Charles began work on an expansion of Alexander Wilson’s renowned American Ornithology with the objective of including birds that Wilson had not included before his death in 1813. Bonaparte wrote the text for American Ornithology not included by Wilson...and for his illustrations he chose the most skillful artists he could find including Titian Ramsey Peale, from the famous Philadelphia Peale family of painters, Alexander Rider, a noted Philadelphia artist and the sketch for one plate was created by John James Audubon. Alexander Lawson engraved all of the plates and Alexander Rider did all of the hand coloring. In a work comprising 27 copperplate engravings they added many bird species not treated in Wilson’s work, thus considerably increasing early nineteenth-century knowledge of American ornithology. Audubon was inspired by Wilson’s work and it was not long before he embarked on his great work the so called elephant folio Birds of America which depicted the birds life size and in their natural habitats using the medium of aquatinted engraving.

15 x 12 inches, sheet.
Hand colored engraving.
Excellent condition.