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This remarkable ornithology lithograph with hand-finished color is from the esteemed John Goulds Birds of Asia published in London between 1850 and 1883. Birds of Asia featured some of the most vibrant varieties of birds to be found around the world due to the wide reaching natural fauna of the expansive geographical region. The work took thirty-four years to complete and is considered one of Goulds greatest accomplishments.
Trogons, Kingfishers, Sunbirds, Woodpeckers, Pheasants, and Parrots are all featured in the bountiful work. The backgrounds should also be given particular note, as it was clear Gould was especially drawn to the natural flora and delineated the birds surroundings with great detail.
John Gould created nearly 3000 hand-colored plates of animals in his extensive career. Gould gained much of his knowledge by observation and experience and contributed greatly to scientific knowledge at the time. Gould is believed to have done the original sketches for all of the plates. He utilized many talented artists to help create the finished lithograph including his wife Elizabeth Coxen Gould, Edward Lear, Joseph Wolf, William Hart, and H. C. Richter. Even at the time of publication, Goulds plates were very expensive and only sold to a small set of subscribers. Due to the limited subscriber list, the plates remain rare and of high value for collectors today.