This collection of 115 rich, original ornithological watercolors by Charles Hayes. These two volumes of watercolors are exceptionally rare with only maybe 5 collections of his watercolors ever recorded. He completed these watercolors in London between 1808 and 1813.<br
Charles Hayes was the son of noted bird illustrator, William Hayes. William Hayes work, The Portraits of British Birds, listed that it was completed by him and “seven of his pupils.” It is now acknowledged that his children and likely his wife, Anne, were responsible for the text, drawing, etching, stippling, and coloring of these plates. Charles Hayes specifically was named as one of William’s sons on the title page of that work, and this watercolor was likely part of the production of his father’s work.
Each original watercolor is on thick card paper with an ink ruled border. They were each titled and signed by Charles Hayes, and often dated. The provanance of these watercolors based on the booklabel is William Leatham. This collection was likely intended to be a smaller edition similar to William Lewin’s first issue of his Birds of Great Britain in original watercolors.