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Edward Donovan - Birds

Edward Donovan c. 1794-1819
The Natural History of British Birds
hand colored copperplate engravings
approx. size 5-1/2" by 9-1/4"

Edward Donovan (1768 - 1837)became very interested in natural history as a youth. Having apparently inherited wealth, he was free to indulge his passion as a naturalist, and between 1792 and 1826 financed the publication of over 35 volumes on British and other birds, fishes, shells, insects and quadrupeds. These beautiful copperplate engravings on Whatman paper, with original hand color, are from Donovan's The Natural History of British Birds, or a Selection of the Most Rare, Beautiful and Interesting Birds Which Inhabit This Country, etc., published London c. 1794-1819, 10 volumes in 5, with some 244 plates.

These prints were acquired as a loose collection of plates; thus no title page or descriptive text is available. Their origin has been authenticated from other authoritative resources. One edge is slightly uneven where the print was attached to the book, but this will not affect framing. Each measures approximately 5-1/2" by 9-1/4".

Other works contemporary with the Donovan Birds which are the same size, on the same paper, and of the same high quality, and which thus can be mixed and combined in a framed grouping with these Donovan Bird prints include: Shaw & Nodder, "The Naturalists Miscellany" (1789 - 1813) and Edward Donovan's own later "Naturalists Repository" (1823-26).

Ref: Sitwell, Fine Bird Books 1700-1900 (1990), p. 91

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Click here to see our collection of these prints - Butterflies, Moths, Dragonflies

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