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Natural History

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  • Kangaroo and Marsupial Friends – Bertuch 1800

    Kangaroo and Marsupial Friends – Bertuch 1800

    An original hand coloured copper engraving of the Kangaroo with some friends.

    This is one of the earliest images of the Kangaroo by Bertuch published in Germany c1800. It is based on the first ever painting by the great George Stubbs supposedly from an inflated kangaroo skin

    A good size, 40cm by 20cm on thick wove paper, strong original coloring.

    Price $140.00 unframed or $240.00 in cream mat with black core inside reddish gilt frame … a nice combination

    Early and delightful image of the Kangaroo


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  • Platypus by Lesueur from Baudin Voyage – c1820

    Platypus by Lesueur from Baudin Voyage – c1820

    An original hand coloured engraving of Platypus after a drawing by Charles-Alexandre Lesueur from the voyage of Nicolas Baudin. Depicting a female and male platypus and another male head appearing from the rushes to the right and the “tail up” of a diving female showing the monotremate area under the tail with the opening to the reproductive organs.

    printed on wove paper 20cm by 13cm … small, charming historic engraving using a stipple engraving technique. Good condition.

    Platypus delight from the Baudin expedition


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  • Western Rosella (Platycerous Stanlayii) –  Sir William Jardine – Published in 1826

    Western Rosella (Platycerous Stanlayii) – Sir William Jardine – Published in 1826

    An original hand-coloured engraving of the Western Rosella published in Edinburgh 1826 by Scotland’s greatest naturalist Sir William Jardine (1800-1874). This image is one of the earliest fine engravings of the bird.

    Now referred to as Platycercus icterotis the Western Rosella of Moyadong is endemic to southern Western Australia. The yellow patches on the cheeks distinguishes from other members of the genus; icterotis means “yellow ear”. This is a male the females being duller in colouring. The first description of the bird was published by Temminck and Kuhl in 1820 from a collection gained in King George Sound. It was Nicholas Vigor who classified the bird as described in this engraving. The narrative accompanying the engraving states that Mr Vigors description of the bird is to be published in the forthcoming Zoological Journal confirming the very early nature of the engraving

    Published as part of Jardine’s first great work “Illustrations in Ornithology” a now scarce and valuable collection of bird engravings. This is a large scale edition for those familiar with the pocket book sized engraving from the more common Jardine collection. Paper size 30cm by 23cm and as one can see the bird occupies the page impressively. Strong bright colours, fine engraving of feather texture.

    Jardine was the 7th Baronet of Applegirth, Dumfriesshire and founder of the Ray Society. He was a superb artist in his own right but utilised the great illustrators of the day to complete his works including, Edward Lear, Selby, Stewart, Thompson and William Holmes-Lizars

    Price $180.00 Unframed

    Very early engraving of the Western Rosella


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  • Tasmanian Tiger – Original Thylacine Engraving – by Varin – 1830’s

    Tasmanian Tiger – Original Thylacine Engraving – by Varin – 1830’s

    Scarce hand coloured engraving of the now extinct Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine). A delightful depiction by Pierre Amedee Varin (1818-1883).

    Paired with a botanical Thunbergie … as the engravings appeared in la Dictionnaire Pittoresque d’Histoire Naturelle et de Phenomenes de la Nature published in Paris in the 1830’s

    28cm by 18cm in dimensions and in very good condition. Stipple engraved probably in steel … you can see the technique reflected in the hairs of the thylacine especially in the enlarged iamge … super technique.

    Thylacine lovers often frame their favourite part omitting the botanical. We always leave those decisions to the buyer.

    Pierre Varin came from a family of engravers and illustrators who came from Chalons- sur-Marne, now named Chalons-en-Champagne … a really beautiful part of France.

    Scarce Thylacine engraving … well they are



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  • Sei Whale (Balaena Borealis) – Lesson – 1838

    Sei Whale (Balaena Borealis) – Lesson – 1838

    Original hand coloured copper engraving of the giant Sei Whale produced for Rene Primevere Lesson (1794-1849) for his extension of the great natural history work originally produced by Count Buffon. They were published in Paris in 1838. Lesson participated as doctor and naturalist in the Duperry voyage round the world on board La Coquille (1822-1825).

    The Sei is the world third largest whale behind the Blue and Fin Whales. It eats a tonne of food per hour and is very quick reaching 50km per hour in shorter bursts. Lives all over the world although tends to avoid very hot and very cold waters.

    Price $160.00 unframed or $260.00 framed in Voyager Natural History style in cream mat with black core in gilt frame … superb ready to hang

    Iconic early whale image of the large and fast Sei


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  • The Birds of Australia in 3 Volumes [the S.A. White Facsimile] -Gregory Mathews

    A numbered limited facsimile edition of the complete work in three volumes, reproduced faithfully without alteration or correction. Published in South Australia by State Publishing. The original published in 1910-1927 by Witherby & Co, London. Regarded as the last great bird plate book relating to Australia with the consequential accuracy in form and description.

    Folio on quality paper so rather heavy. Printed by offset lithography and bound in half grey polished leather. Published in 1989 based on a set held in the S.A. White Collection. Fine condition.

    Unpaginated but 182 pages each. A total of 105 full-page colour plates. 500 sets were produced. Getting hard to find and here sold at an attractive price.

    Mathews and his Birds of Australia.


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