ARTIST Alexander Wilson
FROM American Ornithology or The Natural History of the Birds of the United States
CONDITION Engravings with original hand color.
13 ¾ x 10 3/8 inches.
DATE Philadelphia, 1808-14. First edition.
"This is the first truly great American ornithology and also the first truly outstanding American color plate book of any type: absolutely basic as a collector's item." (Whitman Bennett, American Color Plate Books). Wilson's reputation has been somewhat diminished by the unfortunate proximity of his work to Audubon's Birds of American, but his achievement cannot be denied. It has been suggested that it was Wilson who inspired Audubon to seriously pursue the publication of his own work. Wilson's plates depicted 320 figures of 262 species, including 39 that were entirely new and 23 that were for the first time described sufficiently to distinguish them from European species with which they had been confused. Wilson's work has a refreshing charm, with multiple bird species arranged on each plate. The color in the first edition is top rate.
Suggested Framing: - Dark burled wood, french mat, additional $250