New Holland Darter

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Product No. diggles-australia02-221

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Companion to Gould's Handbook; or, synopsis of the birds of Australia containing nearly one-third of the whole, or about 220 examples, for the most part from the original drawings of Sylvester Diggles

This lovely, originally hand-colored lithograph is from Silvester Diggles’s Companion to Gould’s Handbook; or, synopsis of the birds of Australia containing nearly one-third of the whole, or about 220 examples, for the most part from the original drawings of Sylvester Diggles.. This is the second edition of the work and was published in Brisbane by Thorne & Greenwell in 1877. The lithographs were completed by Henry Green Eaton, who was a transported convict from England.

This was the most ambitious hand-colored work published in Australia. It illustrated over 200 native Australian birds. “The plates and text were originally published in parts between 1866 and 1870 under the title The Ornithology of Australia. Financial crisis and a subsequent drop in subscriber numbers meant Diggles was not able to complete the ornithology to his satisfaction, and by 1877 felt that the series was ‘as complete as it probably ever will be.’ As a result, the work was reissued in its definitive form with new title…” (Wantrup)

Silvester Diggles (1817-1880) was a pioneering Australian naturalist with particular interest in birds and insects. He emigrated from Great Britain in the 1850s. He helped found the Queensland Philosphical Society in 1859, the first scientific institution in Australia. He also helped establish the Queensland Museum.

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