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    Sale 7725

    Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts, Including Fine Plate books from an Historic Continental Library

    3 June 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 90

    THORBURN, Archibald (1860-1935). Fine grisaille watercolours of birds, the original works for the plates in Lord Lilford's Notes on the Birds of Northamptonshire and Neighbourhood. N.p., n.d. [but London: 1895].

    Price Realised  

    THORBURN, Archibald (1860-1935). Fine grisaille watercolours of birds, the original works for the plates in Lord Lilford's Notes on the Birds of Northamptonshire and Neighbourhood. N.p., n.d. [but London: 1895].

    4° (287 x 212mm). 18 watercolours (image size 174 x 100mm). Contemporary brown morocco, g.e. (extremities lightly rubbed, covers very slightly bowed). Provenance: Thomas Littleton Powys, fourth Baron Lilford (1833-1896), ornithologist, (monogram to spine).

    LORD LILFORD'S EXTREMELY FINE SET OF HIS ILLUSTRATOR'S ORIGINAL WORKS. Thorburn had secured his reputation through his contribution to Lilford's magisterial survey Coloured Figures of the Birds of the British Islands published between 1885 and 1898. Whilst his contemporaries were sketching birds from examples that had suffered at the hands of taxidermists, Thorburn was one of the first British wildlife artists to go into the field and take sketches from life. '[Thorburn's] skill in the use of watercolour as a medium places him among the first rank of watercolourists, regardless of subject ... As a bird artist, Thorburn represents a link between the Victorian sporting artists and the wildlife artists of the 20th century' (Jackson, Dictionary of Bird Artists of the World, p.463).


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