Daniel Giraud Elliot, Pl. 27 The Bushy-tailed Red-spotted Cat, hand-colored lithograph, 1878–83
Acquire a superb hand-colored lithograph, Plate 27, The Bushy-tailed Red-spotted Cat, Felis Euptilura, from Daniel Giraud Elliot's Monograph of Felidae (Family of Cats), available this week only at a special price.
The following is an excerpt from Elliot's description of the elaborately patterned bushy-tailed red-spotted cat, taken from a preserved specimen.
Ground colour of the body light brownish yellow, strongly mixed with grey, covered with reddish-brown spots rather oblong in shape, darkest and most conspicuous on the hind quarters; head grey, with white line under the eyes and on the side next to the nose; two dark brown stripes on the centre, commencing at the tip of the nose and one on each side, beginning at the eye, pass over the top of the head, and down the back of the neck to the shoulders; a dark-red stripe runs form the corner of the eye, across the cheek to the base of the ear; and another, rather lighter in colour, starting below the eye, passes along the cheek and curves back under the throat. The center of the back is much darker than the sides, with spots of dark brown. Under lip white, as is also the throat and under parts. Across the upper part of the breat are four broken bands of foxy red; belly covered with large brown spots, becoming rufous between the hind legs. Inner side of hind legs buff, with cross bands of foxy-red, and covered with small reddish spots to the toes. Tail thick, rather short, bushy, darker than the body, with several incomplete broken rings of blackish brown. inside of ear buff, behind black.
Size about that of the common cat.
...Dr. Gray gives Malacca, Sumatra, and Borneo as the habitat of this species.
In perfect condition, this first-edition lithograph has beautiful original color. Drawn by the celebrated zoological artist, Josef Wolf (1820–1899) and the lithographed by Joseph Smit, printed in London by M & N Hanhart, 23 x 18.25 inches.
References: The Cat. An Introduction to the Study of Backboned Animals, Especially Mammals, St. George Mivart, 1900, pgs. 418–419 .
$2,750 this week only (list price $3,800). Offer expires 8-28-17.
Elliot’s prints are among the rarest of all natural history works. Perhaps fewer than 75 folios were produced. A first edition, hand-colored collection of 43 lithographic plates, Elliot’s Family of Cats was published in London between 1878 and 1883. Family of Cats stands with Audubon’s Quadrupeds of North America as one of the finest works of 19th-century mammology.
Elliot's fascination with his subject matter is evident in the introduction to the Monograph of the Felidae, "The Felidae contain those Beasts of Prey which are the most perfect in organization, attractive in appearance, and terrible in destructive power...their lithe and agile forms are clothed in coats of brilliant colours, varied by fanciful markings of opposite hues: while their easy carriage and proverbial silent movements constitute, in their attractive grace, the very poetry of motion."
Independently wealthy, Elliot spared no expense in the creation of his large-folio treatise and employed Joseph Wolf (1820–99) and Joseph Smit to illustrate these richly colored images depicting every species of cat. Born in New York City, Daniel Giraud Elliot (1835 – 1915) collected bird specimens in his youth, and later traveled extensively in Europe and Asia to pursue his interest in ornithology. An important figure in the 19th-century scientific community, he was a founder of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and co-founder of the American Ornithologists Union. He went on to become Curator of Zoology at Chicago’s Field Museum in 1884. During his career, Elliot also published lavish ornithological folios, including Monograph of the Paradiseidae, or Birds of Paradise (London, 1873), and Monograph of the Pittidae (New York, 1867).
For further information or to purchase, please call the gallery at 312-642-5300.