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Birds including Australian Birds

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  • The Hunter Sketchbook. Birds & Flowers of New South Wales drawn on The Spot in 1788 89 & 90 By Captain John Hunter of the First Fleet.

    The Hunter Sketchbook. Birds & Flowers of New South Wales drawn on The Spot in 1788 89 & 90 By Captain John Hunter of the First Fleet.

    A really rather beautiful and slightly strangely titled work.

    We say strangely titled because we do not have to read far about the original sketchbook, (once owned by the great Rex Nan Kivell and now housed in the Australian National Library) to find that the sketches include fishes and people … and of New South Wales and also Norfolk and Lord Howe islands. Peeking at the reproductions of the sketches we can also see a kangaroo and a dolphin. What is really surprising is the rarity now of some of the birds he drew e.g. the Swift Parrot and we wonder where he saw that bird …

    Captain Hunter, to be Governor Hunter, known as a skilled sketch artist through the illustrations in his sought after First Fleet journal .. but these images take one’s understanding and admiration to a whole new level.

    No expense spared production limited to 500 copies and with a further 50 sets of unbound plates. Edited by John Calaby with assistance. Published in 1989. Quarto, x, 252 pages with 100 full page colour plates and other illustrations in the lengthy introductions. Bound in quarter calf, raised bands to spine, separate green leather title label, exotic marble paper covered boards, original removable glassine protector, silk ribbon release from original open slip cover. A fine copy.

    A special edition from a unique work of historical significance – an Australian National Treasure.


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  • A Manual of the Birds of Australia – Gregory Mathews and Tom Iredale.

    A Manual of the Birds of Australia – Gregory Mathews and Tom Iredale.

    Described as Volume I but there only ever was one volume. Scarce work led by the guru of Australian bird life Gregory Mathews. Tom Iredale ex British Museum was effectively employed by Matthews on this and Mathews massive illustrated work. Some believe that much attributed to Mathews was in fact done by Iredale.

    Published by Witherby, London in 1921. Quarto, 279 pages, top edge gilt, ten coloured plates and 36 monochrome plates. Some light spotting on page edges, very good complete dust jacket which is a rarity.

    Private library stamp of Harold W Tarr a distinguished Australian ornithologist with a number of published works and papers.

    This volume covers the orders Casuarii to Columbae. The illustrations nicely done by Lilian Medland, the wife of Tom Iredale. A comprehensive work of some distinction as those in the know would expect.

    Important Australian Orinthological Work – Mathews and Iredale 1921


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  • Black Swan – George Shaw – 1808

    Black Swan – George Shaw – 1808

    An original copper engraving of the Australian Black Swan.

    Engraved in copper by Eastgate and published by G Kearlsey of Fleet street, London on October 1st 1808 – dated in the plate. It was published as part of the great George Shaw’s Zoological Lectures which were performed at the Royal Institution the following year.

    A good strong engraving, 210mm by 125 mm. paper showing a little age but really a very good example of this very early Black Swan image.

    Proud Black Swan done well.


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  • The Passenger Pigeon – by Joseph Quinn.

    The Passenger Pigeon – by Joseph Quinn.

    No date comb bound copied item published circa 1990, see below. This was its original form – self published by the author.

    Subtitled “A Boys Story” but not a story for Boys, in fact a compilation of the writings of the author, many of them, published in Bird World … and all about the demise of the Passenger Pigeon.

    We learn that the last pigeon a female was given the name of Martha, after George Washington’s wife … the second last Passenger Pigeon, her brother, named George … naturally. We like this unusual work not just for its obvious rarity but the love of the writer for his subject. The Boys story is a reference to him finding his childhood scribbles about the subject matter.

    96 pages in all, some images from the magazine that have not copied too well. Cream card covers.

    A total of 20 separate articles, all of some length, published variously between 1982 and 1987.

    Inserted on posh faux vellum paper is a poem written by the author in honour of the sadly retired bird; rather well penned and definitely moving.

    Joseph Quinn – his life’s work on the Passenger Pigeon all in one place.


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  • Red Throated Caracar [Falcon] Ibycter Americonus – 1802 by Shaw & Nodder

    Red Throated Caracar [Falcon] Ibycter Americonus – 1802 by Shaw & Nodder

    Copper engraved and hand coloured this engraving of the Red Throated Falcon.

    First described in the 1780′s by Count de Buffon from a specimen brought back from South America. Can be found from Mexico through Venezuela into tropical Brazil. An unusual bird with complex social habits, although they exist in large numbers they tend to form groups of around a dozen who stick together hunting for food and for social comfort.

    George Shaw oversaw the Natural History Department at the British Museum. Nodder was a natural history artist and worked for Sir Joseph Banks on his Florilegium.

    Price $90.00 unframed or $190.00 framed in Voyager Natural History style … enquire if you require further information.

    The Sociable Red Throated Falcon over 200 years old.


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  • Jardine Parrot – By Fawcett for Greene – 1884

    Jardine Parrot – By Fawcett for Greene – 1884

    Original wood cut hand finished engraving of the Jardine’s Parrot from “Parrots in Captivity”, published in London 1884.

    This striking parrot was found and taken back to Scotland by the son of the famous naturalist, illustrator Sir William Jardine. The father categorised it hence it became named after his son … or after him as well really.

    Greene’s delightful work comprising wood-engraved plates printed by Benjamin Fawcett after drawings by A.F. Lydon. The prints are hand finished with delicate highlighting in gum arabic to accentuate the bright colouring.

    Benjamin Fawcett was one of the great colour printers of the 19th century. He pioneered a system of wood block engraving from multiple blocks that resulted in vivid finely coloured works. Fawcett had an association of some 50 years with Francis Orpen Morris to produce many beautiful works on birds. The engravings are the finest illustrations of parrots from the period.

    Price unframed $120.00


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