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Description:This beautiful original hand coloured antique lithograph print of the Blue Petrel by John Gould and Henry Constantine Richter, after the drawing of Elizabeth Gould, was published in The Birds of Australia by John Gould between 1840 & 1848.This, as with all Goulds prints, is of exceptional quality with exquisite hand colouring. This print is also accompanied by the original text page.Henry Constantine Richter 1821 – 1902 was an English zoological illustrator who produced a very large number of skilful coloured lithographs of birds and mammals, mainly for the scientific books of the renowned English 19th century ornithologist John Gould.Many of the original drawings used by Richter as the basis for his coloured lithographs were by Goulds wife, Elizabeth Coxen, produced before her death in 1841.Richter\'s reputation was overshadowed by that of his much-celebrated employer. Since it was not customary to acknowledge illustrators alongside authors in the titles of publications, his name was forgotten. But in 1978 his great ability and the extent of his contribution to Goulds work came to light, in the work of the researcher Christine E Jackson.
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: - OriginalColors used: - Yellow, green, blue, pink, brown, whiteGeneral color appearance: - AuthenticPaper size: - 21 1/2in x 14 1/2in (490mm x 370mm)Plate size: - 21 1/2in x 14 1/2in (490mm x 370mm)Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - NonePlate area: - NoneVerso: - None
Background: The Birds of Australia was a book written by John Gould and published in seven volumes between 1840 and 1848. It was the first comprehensive survey of the birds of Australia and included descriptions of 681 species, 328 of which were new to science and were first described by Gould.Gould and his wife Elizabeth traveled to Australia from England in 1838 to prepare the book. They spent a little under two years collecting specimens for the book. John traveled widely and made extensive collections of Australian birds and other fauna. Elizabeth, who had illustrated several of his earlier works, made hundreds of drawings from specimens for publication in The Birds of AustraliaThe plates of the book were produced by lithography, Elizabeth produced 84 plates before she died in 1841, Edward Lear produced one, Waterhouse Hawkins contributed one and the remaining 595 plates were produced by H. C. Richter from Elizabeths drawings and were published under his name.250 sets of the seven-volume work were printed.In 1865 Gould published a revised and updated version of the text of The Birds of Australia in the two-volume Handbook to the Birds of Australia.
Gould, John FRS 1804 – 1881Gould was an English ornithologist and bird artist. He published a number of monographs on birds, illustrated by plates that he produced with the assistance of his wife, Elizabeth Gould, and several other artists including Edward Lear, Henry Constantine Richter, Joseph Wolf and William Matthew Hart. He has been considered the father of bird study in Australia and the Gould League in Australia is named after him. His identification of the birds now nicknamed Darwins finches played a role in the inception of Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection. Goulds work is referenced in Charles Darwins book, On the Origin of Species.Gould was born in Lyme Regis the first son of a gardener. He and the boy probably had a scanty education. Shortly afterwards his father obtained a position on an estate near Guildford, Surrey, and then in 1818 Gould became foreman in the Royal Gardens of Windsor. He was for some time under the care of J. T. Aiton, of the Royal Gardens of Windsor. The young Gould started training as a gardener, being employed under his father at Windsor from 1818 to 1824, and he was subsequently a gardener at Ripley Castle in Yorkshire. He became an expert in the art of taxidermy. In 1824 he set himself up in business in London as a taxidermist, and his skill helped him to become the first Curator and Preserver at the museum of the Zoological Society of London in 1827.Goulds position brought him into contact with the countrys leading naturalists. This meant that he was often the first to see new collections of birds given to the Zoological Society of London. In 1830 a collection of birds arrived from the Himalayas, many not previously described. Gould published these birds in A Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains (1830–1832). The text was by Nicholas Aylward Vigors and the illustrations were drawn and lithographed by Goulds wife Elizabeth Coxen Gould. Most of Goulds work were rough sketches on paper from which other artists created the lithographic plates.This work was followed by four more in the next seven years, including Birds of Europe in five volumes. It was completed in 1837; Gould wrote the text, and his clerk, Edwin Prince, did the editing. The plates were drawn and lithographed by Elizabeth Coxen Gould. A few of the illustrations were made by Edward Lear as part of his Illustrations of the Family of Psittacidae in 1832. Lear, however, was in financial difficulty, and he sold the entire set of lithographs to Gould. The books were published in a very large size, imperial folio, with magnificent coloured plates. Eventually 41 of these volumes were published, with about 3000 plates. They appeared in parts at £3 3s. a number, subscribed for in advance, and in spite of the heavy expense of preparing the plates, Gould succeeded in making his ventures pay, realising a fortune. This was a busy period for Gould who also published Icones Avium in two parts containing 18 leaves of bird studies on 54 cm plates as a supplement to his previous works. No further monographs were published as in 1838 he and his wife moved to Australia to work on the Birds of Australia. Shortly after their return to England, his wife died in 1841. Elizabeth Gould completed 84 plates for Birds of Australia before her death.When Charles Darwin presented his mammal and bird specimens collected during the second voyage of HMS Beagle to the Zoological Society of London on 4 January 1837, the bird specimens were given to Gould for identification. He set aside his paying work and at the next meeting on 10 January reported that birds from the Galápagos Islands which Darwin had thought were blackbirds, gross-bills and finches were in fact a series of ground Finches which are so peculiar as to form an entirely new group, containing 12 species. This story made the newspapers. In March, Darwin met Gould again, learning that his Galápagos wren was another species of finch and the mockingbirds he had labelled by island were separate species rather than just varieties, with relatives on the South American mainland. Subsequently, Gould advised that the smaller southern Rhea specimen that had been rescued from a Christmas dinner was a separate species which he named Rhea darwinii, whose territory overlapped with the northern rheas. Darwin had not bothered to label his finches by island, but others on the expedition had taken more care. He now sought specimens collected by captain Robert FitzRoy and crewmen. From them he was able to establish that the species were unique to islands, an important step on the inception of his theory of evolution by natural selection. Goulds work on the birds was published between 1838 and 1842 in five numbers as Part 3 of Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle, edited by Charles Darwin. Elizabeth Gould illustrated all the plates for Part 3.In 1838 the Goulds sailed to Australia, intending to study the birds of that country and be the first to produce a major work on the subject. They took with them the collector John Gilbert. They arrived in Tasmania in September, making the acquaintance of the governor Sir John Franklin and his wife. Gould and Gilbert collected on the island. In February 1839 Gould sailed to Sydney, leaving his pregnant wife with the Franklins. He travelled to his brother-in-laws station at Yarrundi, spending his time searching for bowerbirds in the Liverpool Range. In April he returned to Tasmania for the birth of his son. In May he sailed to Adelaide to meet Charles Sturt, who was preparing to lead an expedition to the Murray River. Gould collected in the Mount Lofty range, the Murray Scrubs and Kangaroo Island, returning again to Hobart in July. He then travelled with his wife to Yarrundi. They returned home to England in May 1840.The result of the trip was The Birds of Australia (1840–48). It included a total of 600 plates in seven volumes; 328 of the species described were new to science and named by Gould. He also published A Monograph of the Macropodidae, or Family of Kangaroos (1841–1842) and the three volume work The Mammals of Australia (1849–1861).Elizabeth died in 1841 after the birth of their eighth child, Sarah, and Goulds books subsequently used illustrations by a number of artists, including Henry Constantine Richter, William Matthew Hart and Joseph Wolf.Throughout his professional life Gould had a strong interest in hummingbirds. He accumulated a collection of 320 species, which he exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Despite his interest, Gould had never seen a live hummingbird. In May 1857 he travelled to the United States with his second son, Charles. He arrived in New York too early in the season to see hummingbirds in that city, but on 21 May 1857, in Bartrams Gardens in Philadelphia, he finally saw his first live one, a ruby-throated hummingbird. He then continued to Washington D.C. where he saw large numbers in the gardens of the Capitol. Gould attempted to return to England with live specimens, but, as he was not aware of the conditions necessary to keep them, they only lived for two months at most.Gould published: A Monograph of the Trochilidae or Humming Birds with 360 plates (1849–61); The Mammals of Australia (1845–63), Handbook to the Birds of Australia (1865), The Birds of Asia (1850–83), The Birds of Great Britain (1862–73) and The Birds of New Guinea and the adjacent Papuan Islands (1875–88).The University of Glasgow, which owns a copy of Birds of Great Britain, describes John Gould as the greatest figure in bird illustration after Audubon, and auctioneers Sotherans describe the work as Goulds pride and joy.Gould had already published some of the illustrations in Birds of Europe, but Birds of Great Britain represents a development of his aesthetic style in which he adds illustrations of nests and young on a large scale.Sotherans Co. reports that Gould published the book himself, producing 750 copies, which remain sought after both as complete volumes, and as individual plates, currently varying in price from £450 – £850. The University of Glasgow records that the volumes were issued in London in 25 parts, to make the complete set, between 1863 and 1873, and each set contained 367 coloured lithographs.Gould undertook an ornithological tour of Scandinavia in 1856, in preparation for the work, taking with him the artist Henry Wolf who drew 57 of the plates from Goulds preparatory sketches. According to The University of Glasgow Goulds skill was in rapidly producing rough sketches from nature (a majority of the sketches were drawn from newly killed specimens) capturing the distinctiveness of each species. Gould then oversaw the process whereby his artists worked his sketches up into the finished drawings, which were made into coloured lithographs by engraver William Hart.There were problems: the stone engraving of the snowy owl in volume I was dropped and broken at an early stage in the printing. Later issues of this plate show evidence of this damage and consequently the early issue – printed before the accident – are considered more desirable.The lithographs were hand coloured. In the introduction for the work, Gould states every sky with its varied tints and every feather of each bird were coloured by hand; and when it is considered that nearly two hundred and eighty thousand illustrations in the present work have been so treated, it will most likely cause some astonishment to those who give the subject a thought.The work has gathered critical acclaim: according to Mullens and Swann, Birds of Great Britain is the most sumptuous and costly of British bird books, whilst Wood describes it as a magnificent work. Isabella Tree writes that it was seen – perhaps partly because its subject was British, as the culmination of [his] ... genius