[Machetes Pugnax - Ruff and Reeve in the plumage of the first autumn.]
[London: John Gould, 1863-73.]
Lithograph with exceptional original hand colour. 335 x 489mm (13¼ x 19¼"). Trimmed at bottom, losing title and inscriptions.
A Ruff and Reeve, medium-sized wading birds of the marshes and wet meadows; seen here with his breeding plumage the male tries to court the female. The print was published in John Gould's monumental ornithological book, 'The Birds of Great Britain', which was issued in parts between 1863 and 1873. 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: 28853] £360.00