Felis Tigrina [Margay]

WOLF, Joseph (1820-1899)

Published by Daniel Giraud Elliot for the subscribers, [London, 1883
Art / Print / Poster
From Donald A. Heald Rare Books (ABAA) (New York, NY, U.S.A.)

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Hand-coloured lithograph by J.Smit after Joseph Wolf, printed by M. & N.Hanhart. A very fine image from 'the best animal painter who ever lived' (Sir Edwin Landseer). A Central and South American cat, ranging from Mexico to Argentina, the Margay is similar in coloring and marking to the Ocelot, but is smaller. Elliott mis-identified this cat as Felis Tigrina, another South American cat. It is sometimes called the Tree Ocelot, they are agile in the forest canopy and sometimes spend their lives there. One of the most striking images from Elliot's magnificent work A Monograph of the Felidae or Family of Cats (London: 1878-1883) which described and pictured all the species of cats then known, and is still the most beautiful work on the subject. The work was prompted by a perceived need to resolve the confusion that had built up around the naming of the various species of Felidae , particularly amongst the smaller cats. Wolf worked from specimens provided by Elliot, who visited all the great museums and zoological societies on both sides of the Atlantic. This allowed Elliot to make a comparative study of skeletons and skins and reduce the number of apparently separate species by nearly a third. Joseph Wolf served an apprenticeship with a Koblentz firm of lithographers, and spent some time working in Leiden and Darmstadt, before moving to London in 1848. The quality of his images was recognized immediately and he was rarely without work, producing natural history pictures of the highest quality for the Zoological Society of London, Henry Dresser, George Gray and John Gould, amongst many others. Wolf's work for Elliot marks the high-point of his illustrative work and his images of the cats are considered by many to be his masterpieces. Cf. Nissen ZBI 1279; cf. Wood p.332. Bookseller Inventory # 19673

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Felis Tigrina [Margay]

Publisher: Daniel Giraud Elliot for the subscribers, [London

Publication Date: 1883

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