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Henry Constantine Richter (1821-1902)
Henry Constantine Richter (1821-1902)

Pallas's Sandgrouse, Syrrhaptes paradoxus (Pallas)

Details
Henry Constantine Richter (1821-1902)
Pallas's Sandgrouse, Syrrhaptes paradoxus (Pallas)
numbered '4.11.' (lower right) and with inscription 'J. Gould/Syrrhaptes Paradoxus/Pallas' Sandgrouse' (on the mount, lower right)
pencil and watercolour heightened with white and gum arabic
14 3/8 x 20 7/8 in. (36.5 x 53 cm.)


Provenance
The Goodman Collection of watercolours for John Gould's 'The Birds Of Great Britain; Christie's King Street, London, 4 October 1994.
Literature
J. Gould, The Birds of Great Britain., IV, pl.11

Lot Essay

Henry Constantine Richter (1821-1902) was a zoological illustrator who produced numerous lithographs of birds and mammals, mainly under the employment of John Gould whom he started working for in 1841 and contributed around 1,100 illustrations to his publications, most notably, as with the lot offered here, to Birds of Britain (1862-73).
The Pallas' Sandgrouse breeds in central Asia from the Caspian Sea to southwest Siberia, south Mongolia and north China, south to Tibet and Tsinghai. It is a partial migrant, wintering south of the breeding range and is also a rare vagrant to Britain, occasionally erupting from its regular breeding as far west as Ireland. Notably there was a large invasion in Britain and Ireland between 1863-1888 and resultantly was included in Gould's Birds of Britain which was published in volumes between 1862 and 1873. Gould mentions that the first Sandgrouse appeared in England in 1859 and commented 'That an Asiatic bird,...should have suddenly made its appearance in many parts of the European continent, and in almost every district in the British Isles, is so remarkable that the occurrence may almost be regarded as a phenomenon.' The reasons for the species' remarkable movements are not fully understood, but they have become less frequent, probably due to contraction of the western Siberian range as the steppes become more agricultural.

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