This originally hand-colored etching is from Eleazar Albin’s Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux or The Natural History of Birds. The work was published in London by W. Innys and R. Manby between 1738 and 1740. Each engraving is on J. Whatman watermarked, chain-linked paper.
Eleazar Albin made his living creating watercolors of wealthy collectors’ cabinets, including Sir Hans Sloane. Sloane’s collection founded the British Museum. Many of these collectors then subscribed to his Natural History of Birds. The plates were completed by Eleazar as well as his children, Elizabeth and Fortinalus.
In Albin’s notes to the reader he states “As for the paintings, they are all done from the life, with all the Exactness I could either with my own hand, or my daughters, whom I have taught to draw and paint after the life.”