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William Darton (publisher)
William Darton (publisher)

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William Darton (publisher) [Twelve Plates of Birds: designed for the use of the artist, the connoisseur, and the naturalist; and intended for rewards in our public schools, the cabinets of the curious, and for furniture prints. London: William Darton, Holborn Hill, 1821]. 2° (395 x 265mm). Without title or text as issued. 12 hand-coloured engraved plates after Charles Collins. (Occasional small tears to margins.) Original paper wrappers, letterpress title within border of typographic ornaments on upper cover (backstrip lacking, small areas of cover torn with loss), modern cloth wrapper and slipcase, black morocco lettering-pieces on spine and upper cover of slipcase. An apparently unrecorded work featuring birds, and, according to the text on the lower cover, one of only "A few coloured copies... highly finished from nature". The charming plates depict a total of 115 individual birds representing 58 species arranged against various landscape backgrounds. The prints were based on oil paintings executed by Collins (1680-1744) in 1736; Carrington and John Bowles issued a set of engravings from the paintings in the same year (under the collective title Icones avium cum nominibus anglicis). Nine of the original oils on canvas are conserved by the National Trust at Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire. The three remaining paintings from the set appeared at auction in London in 1995. Anker 105; Fine Bird Books p.65; Nissen IVB 201.
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