John Gould, Pl. 5, Osculant Toucan, hand-colored lithograph, first edition, 1833–35

$1,975 this week only (list price $2,800). Offer expires 6-19-2017

Laura Oppenheimer

 

John Gould, Pl. 5 Osculant Toucan, hand-colored lithograph, first edition, 1833–35

Enjoy special pricing this week only on Pl. 5 Osculant Toucan, Ramphastos osculans, a superb hand-colored lithograph from Gould’s Family of Toucans, drawn from nature and on stone by John and Elizabeth Gould. This toucan, noted for its bright yellow breast and the yellow upper ridge of its curved bill, is native to the Rio Negro region in northern Brazil, Venezuela, and Guiana. Current name: Channel-billed Toucan, Ramphastos vitellinus.

In Volume 3 of The Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, page 156, on October 27, 1935, it was recorded that "Mr. Gould at the request of the chairman [William Yarrell, Esq.] exhibited drawings of ten species of Ramphastidae which had become known to him since he published in 1834 his 'Monograph' of that family. Several of these birds had already been brought to the notice of the Society. He now named and characterized the remaining ones...." A drawing of Ramphastos oculans was among those ten drawings first presented at the Zoological Society meeting that day.   

Hand-colored lithograph, printed in London by C. Hullmandel and colored by Gabriel Bayfield, 1832–35. Charles Hullmandel (1789–1850) was instrumental in developing British lithography. In perfect condition, sheet size measures 21.75 x 14.625 inches.

Reference: Field Museum of Natural History, Publication 203, Zoological Series, Vol. XIII, Catalogue of Birds of the Americas, Part II, No, 2, by Charles B. Cory, Curator of Department of Zoology, 1919, pages 360-364 

$1,975 this week only (list price $2,800). Offer expires 6-19-17.

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A Monograph of the Ramphastidae or Family of Toucans is the most flamboyant of Gould’s works. Originally published in London in three parts from 1833 to 1835, the work comprises 33 hand-colored and one uncolored lithograph. Lear contributed nine of the plates and the rest were done by Elizabeth Coxen Gould, John Gould's talented wife, after sketches by John Gould. Many of the lithographs in the first edition were drawn by Edward Lear and are extremely sought after. The exotic Toucans have a sense of familiarity because they are among the most often reproduced images of all bird art. The name Toucan is derived from the Tupi Indians of Brazil who call them Tucano. Their origin is the tropical rain forests of the Americas.

John Gould (1804–1881) is the most prolific publisher of ornithological subjects of all time. In 19th-century Europe, his name was as well known as Audubon’s was in North America. Gould's love of natural history was fostered in the gardens of King George III where his father was chief gardener at Windsor Castle. Although trained as a gardener, Gould’s interests quickly evolved, and at the age of 23, he was appointed taxidermist to the Zoological Society of London. After three years, he progressed to the position of curator of birds and chief taxidermist. In 1830, newly married, Gould and his artist wife, Elizabeth, began their publishing career.

Unlike Audubon, whose life’s work focused on one region, Gould traveled widely and employed other artists to help create his lavish, hand-colored lithographic folios. Among Gould's renowned works is the monumental Birds of Europe, originally published in 22 parts from 1832 to 1837 and A Monograph of the Trochilidae or Family of Humming-Birds (1849-87), considered Gould’s masterpiece in both breath and beauty.

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