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Natural History

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  • Silvester Diggles – Australian Birds – Pied Honey-eater, Slender-billed Spine-bill and the White eye-browed Spine-bill

    Silvester Diggles – Australian Birds – Pied Honey-eater, Slender-billed Spine-bill and the White eye-browed Spine-bill

    Rare original hand-coloured lithograph by Queensland naturalist Silvester Diggles. Published as part of his magnificent work “”The Ornithology of Australia” between 1866 and 1870 in twenty-one parts by Pugh of Brisbane, in a very limited edition. By the time part sixteen was published there were only 92 subscribers. The original plates were executed by Diggles and his niece, Rowena Birkett.

    The work measures 38cm by 27cm, good hand colouring pretty clean with just the odd surface mark. A really scarce item.

    Silvester Diggles (1817-1880) artist and musician born in Liverpool, England. He came to Australia in 1853 settling in Brisbane where he taught music and drawing. Diggles was a founder of the Brisbane Choral Society in 1859 and the Philharmonic Society in 1861 known as “the father of music in Brisbane”. Diggles was also a founder of the Queensland Philosophical Society and helped establish the Museum. His greatest work was The Ornithology of Australia. However it nearly sent him broke. His health deteriorated worry about finances being a factor. He died at Kangaroo Point in 1880.

    Price $240.00 unframed

    An opportunity to own a rare original bird print by Queenslander Silvester Diggles

    $240.00

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  • Original Platypus Engraving  – Fournier -1849

    Original Platypus Engraving – Fournier -1849

    An original hand coloured engraving of two platypus drawn by distinguished Natural History artist Travies end engraved by Fournier.

    Published in Paris as part of the Dictionnarie Universal d’Histoire Naturalle promoted by Charles Dessalines D’Orbigny a leading French naturalist of the time.

    Dimensions 24cm by 15cm in very good condition with fine stipple engraving (which brings out every hair) and natural understated colouring of the delightful platypus (plural).

    The image would appear to us to be based on the Lesueur artwork from the Baudin expedition.

    Price $140.00 unframed

    Fine and early Platypus engraving

    $140.00

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  • Original Press Photograph – The Archbold Expedition at Mount Wilhelmina – 1939

    Original Press Photograph – The Archbold Expedition at Mount Wilhelmina – 1939

    An original photograph 22cm by 15cm of the Archbold Expedition camping at the tree line near the base of Mt Wilhelmina, Dutch New Guinea during their important biological exploring expedition of 1938/39 … the third and most ambitious of Archbold’s expeditions, under his leadership.

    Very good condition albeit usual press stampings and pasted narrative to rear.

    The narrative reads – “Exploring New Guinea by Air – Mount Wilhelmina, Netherlands New Guinea – The camp of the expedition carriers near the timber line in the shadow of Mount Wilhelmina (background) the second loftiest peak on the island, rising mor than three miles at the Equator. It was in this area that MR Archbold discovered a bird he said was hitherto unknown to science. It is slightly larger than the ordinary sparrow, with a bluish-black boy an a brilliant red patch to its throat. It has a delicate, flycatcher- type back and warbles melodically”

    Richard Archbold (1907-1976) was a wealthy American zoologist and philanthropist … his three expeditions to Dutch New Guinea were very successful, particularly this the third and final expedition. In it they concentrated mainly in the area from Mt Wilhelmina to the Idenburg River.

    Mt Wilhelmina, known as Puncak Trikora since 1963 is 4,750 metres high. It was first climbed in 1913 by Alphons Herderschee. At that time its peak was still covered by a substantial ice cap, as were a number of other high peaks in the area. During the early part of the 10th Century the ice gradually melted and had disappeared by c1940.

    The Archbold expeditions continued, under Australian leadership, after WWII and included territory in Papua New Guinea. We have the reports of these later expeditions in stock.

    Price $40.00
    Nice image of the Archbold camp New Guinea 1939.

    $40.00

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  • King Bird and Regent Bird of Paradise  – Lemaire 1836

    King Bird and Regent Bird of Paradise – Lemaire 1836

    The most beautiful hand coloured engraving. Executed by Pauquet for Lemaire’s supreme work “Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux Exotiques” published in Paris 1836.

    The plate is 23cm by 14cm rich creamy paper and in fine condition. The colours are so vivid and, enhanced with gum arabic, they surprise the eye. We think this is maybe the prettiest of the smaller Victorian bird prints

    The King Bird of Paradise and the Regent Bird of Paradise. Two striking male birds. Both frequent the lowland forests of Papua New Guinea. What a place.

    The King Bird of Paradise is often regarded as the most beautiful and during his mating ritual can ruffle his white feathers up so much that he almost looks like a white ball .. with all his finer protruding of course.

    The Regent Bird of Paradise is a cousin to the Australian Regent Bowerbird … the more extensive yellow, particularly across the top of the head is the giveaway.

    Price framed $190.00 unframed

    No birds more beautiful than the Birds of Paradise

    $190.00

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  • Short Eared Owl – Susemihl – 1838

    Short Eared Owl – Susemihl – 1838

    Original hand-coloured engraving of the Short Eared Owl by Johann Conrad Susemihl (1767-1847).

    Published in Stuttgart as part of “Vogel Europas”, one of the great ornithological works of the 19th century, in which Johann Susemihl was assisted by his son Eduard.

    Size 25cm by 16cm .. will frame nicely for library, study, hallway …

    Price $120.00 unframed — enquire about framing options if you desire.

    Rare finely engraved owl … click on me to see my penetrating eyes!

    $120.00

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  • Australian Frogmouths  – Broinowski – 1890

    Australian Frogmouths – Broinowski – 1890

    An original hand finished chromolithograph from Broinowksi’s magnificent wok on Australian birds published late in the Victorian era.

    Two frogmouths … Podargus Strigoides (Tawny Frogmouth) an Podargus Plumiferus (Marbled Frogmouth). With moderate gum arabic highlights on the eyes, beaks and wing tips.

    Matted nicely ready to frame. Printed area 31cm by 24cm. external mat dimensions 43cm by 34cm. A nice example of the desirable frogmouth image … easier to see here than out in the bush.

    Price $140.00 unframed but nicely matted as described. Sorry our scanner is too small to show the full effect of the matting … its nice … double matted with French lines coloured and gilt.

    Australian Frogmouths … very Australian

    $140.00

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