Phaethornis Hispidus, Gould, Plate 22 (Hairy Hermit)

John Gould

Published by London, 1861
Condition: Fine No Binding
From Arader Galleries San Francisco (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

John Gould (1804-1881) was an English ornithologist, self-taught artist and naturalist. Gould first worked as a gardener under his father in the Royal Gardens of Windsor from 1818-1824, where he began his illustrations. He became an expert taxidermist, opening his own practice in London in 1824 and in 1827 he became the first Curator and Preserver at the museum of the Zoological Society of London. Through his work he was able to meet with the country’s leading naturalists and view new collections of birds given to the Zoological Society. His interest in birds was continually developing and in 1830 he published his first volume on birds, “A Century of Birds From the Himalaya Mountains.” For the next fifty years, Gould, his wife and artists working with them traveled around Asia, the East Indies and Australia. His wife Elizabeth and other artists were able to transfer his sketches to stone; hand print and hand-color them. Of all his works, many of Gould’s best-known images come from this beautiful and comprehensive “Monograph of the Trochilidae, or Family of Hummingbirds”. One of his largest productions, the Hummingbirds was also the most painstaking, meticulously detailed project that the ornithologist attempted. In order to create accurate representations of the tiny, delicately beautiful birds, Gould invented a new method of coloring, using metallic pigments to reproduce the iridescence of their plumage. Most images also show at least one subject in flight to further accentuate the coloring of their feathers. All of the hummingbirds are drawn to scale and are anatomically correct to the smallest detail, their brilliant coloring highlighted with gold and transparent luster. Most of the subjects in the book were taken from Gould’s personal collection of hummingbird specimens. This magnificently hand-colored lithograph, "Phaethornis Hispidus, Gould", measures 21" x 14" and is in excellent condition. This lithograph shows the two hummingbirds, commonly called Hairy Hermits, in search of nectar to feed on. These large hummingbirds are expertly hand-colored with rich green backs, pale blue undersides and wingtips and a blend of green and blue patterned tail feathers with white tips. The are illustrated with their long, thin breaks reaching for nectar from delicate white flowers. The positioning of the bodies of the hummingbirds allows for their dynamic coloring and patterns to be appreciated. Bookseller Inventory # aw0111e

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Phaethornis Hispidus, Gould, Plate 22 (Hairy...

Publisher: London

Publication Date: 1861

Binding: No Binding

Book Condition:Fine

Store Description

The world's largest selection of the works of John James Audubon, Pierre-Joseph Redoute, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, historically important maps, natural history engravings and watercolors, lithographs of the American West, Californiana, Hawaiiana and Western Americana. Located at 432 Jackson Street in Historic Jackson Square, San Francisco, and online at www.aradersf.com.

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