An original John Gould Hummingbird lithograph published in 1861 Beautifully hand colored with watercolor and added iridesence. Hallmandel and Walto printers London in good antique condition some age toning and light foxing. Slightly trimmed measuring approx. 14 x 21 overall size. A fine example of this important work one of the finest images.
A Monograph of the Trochilidae, or Family of Humming-Birds
Written by John Gould
Published by John Gould (London, England)
5 volumes and supplement, 1861-1887
John Gould (1804-1881) was a British ornithologist, artist, and successful businessman. Sometimes referred to as the "English Audubon," Gould had an illustrious career in which he served as official taxidermist to King George IV and established himself as Queen Victoria's favorite illustrator of birds. Gould was so devoted to the study of birds that he asked for his epitaph to read: "Here lies John Gould, the Bird Man." Though he chronicled a wide variety of bird species, from partridges to toucans, spanning all corners of the globe from Great Britain to Australia, Gould had a particular interest in hummingbirds. He developed a personal collection of 1500 mounted and 3000 unmounted specimens, containing at least 300 different species of hummingbird. A Monograph of the Trochilidae represents Gould's stunning effort to create a comprehensive guide to all the varieties of hummingbird with a high degree of accuracy, detail, and beauty.Gould's five volumes on the hummingbird contain 360 hand-colored lithographic illustrations. Gould would draw rough pencil or watercolor sketches of hummingbird specimens, which then served as guides for a team of artists (including his wife, Elizabeth). Gould also worked with lithographers, who used pure gold and silver leaf (applied underneath the watercolor) to achieve a lifelike illustration of the hummingbird's iridescent feathers.