[Neophron Percnopterus - Egyptian Vulture.]
[London: John Gould, 1863-73.]
Lithograph with exceptional original hand colour. Image area 420 x 320mm (16½ x 12½"). Trimmed at bottom, losing title and inscriptions.
An Egyptian Vulture, depicted with pyramids in the background. Despite this the plate was published in John Gould's monumental ornithological book, 'The Birds of Great Britain', which was issued in parts between 1863 and 1873. Apparently in 1868 a vagrant was shot in Peldon, Essex, and sent to a local taxidermist. Gould borrowed it to be drawn by Wolf. In 1910 the bird was sold at auction for £38 17s, and is now in the Booth Museum, Brighton. The quality of the hand colouring is superb, something Gould stressed: in the introduction to this work he wrote 'every sky with its varied tints and every feather of each bird were coloured by hand; and when it is considered that nearly two hundred and eighty thousand illustrations in the present work have been so treated, it will most likely cause some astonishment to those who give the subject a thought’.
[Ref: 28792] £320.00