Cassin’s Illustrations of the Birds of California, Texas, Oregon, British and Russian America – Volume with 50 Hand-colored Lithographs

$2,750

Product No. cassin-birds

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Illustrations of the Birds of California, Texas, Oregon, British and Russian America

This beautiful volume with 50 hand-colored lithographs is John Cassin’s scarce work Illustrations of the Birds of California, Texas, Oregon, British and Russian America. This is the first edition and published in parts between 1853 and 1855 in Philadelphia by J.B. Lippincott & Co (with title page issued in 1856). The volume is bound in original dark brown cloth with gilt-lettered spine.

The work was intended as a supplement to John James Audubon’s Birds of America. Audubon completed his work before many of the Western birds could be collected and drawn. Cassin’s work features some of the first published images of America’s birds. It is believed only 100 of these volumes are in existence today.

Many of the drawings were completed on stone by William E. Hitchcock. Some of the drawings were done by George G. White and transferred to stone. All of the hand-colored lithographs were done by J. T. Bowen, who was also Audubon’s lithographer.

“At first the Audubons were receptive…however, Cassin wanted shared credit on the title page and a free hand in correcting the errors of nomenclature of the elder Audubon, a touchy point with the sons. In the end, Cassin went on his own, although clearly following the Audubon format and also using J.T. Bowen as lithographer.” (Reese)

John Cassin (1813-1869) was a leading ornithologist and America’s first taxonomist. Cassin was responsible for many of the Railroad Survey illustrations as the western United States expanded and was explored. He was named curator of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences in 1842 after John T. Bowen’s death.

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