• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7536

    Important Natural History Books From The Arcadian Library

    14 November 2007, London, King Street

  • Lot 235

    LEWIN, William (1747-1795). The Birds of Great Britain, with their eggs, accurately figured. London: Johnson, 1800-1796-1801.

    Price Realised  

    LEWIN, William (1747-1795). The Birds of Great Britain, with their eggs, accurately figured. London: Johnson, 1800-1796-1801.

    8 parts in 4 volumes, 4° (280 x 225mm). Text in English and French, 336 hand-coloured full-page plates, of which 278 depict birds and 58 eggs. (Occasional light browning and staining.) Modern brown half morocco and contemporary boards.

    A handsome copy of the second, much enlarged edition of this major work on ornithology. In 1789 Lewin began to issue The Birds of Great Britain, which he had been working on for the previous twenty years. It included 323 watercolours, 271 of birds and 52 of eggs, which he painted himself for the sixty copies which were published. In 1793 he began to issue a second edition, for which Lewin produced etchings of the first 103 plates, the rest were made by his three sons Thomas, Thomas William and John William. Lewin's outstanding ornithological achievement was that "his was the first attempt to include pictures of the eggs of all known British birds in his book" (Christine Jackson, Dictionary of Bird Artists of the World, 1999, p.336-7). "Most of the figures of the eggs were executed from specimens in the Duchess of Portland's collection" (Anker 306). Nissen 562; Fine Bird Books p. 91. (4)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Special Notice

    No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium.