16 June 2016
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
GOULD, John (1804-1881) & Nicholas Aylward VIGORS (1787-1840). A Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains. London: [for the Author, 1831-] 1832.
2 volumes, large 2° (545 x 370 mm). 80 hand-colored lithographic plates by Elizabeth Gould after sketches by John Gould, printed by Charles Hullmandel. (Some spotting, primarily to text leaves, some pale offsetting.) Contemporary green morocco gilt, edges gilt by Miller (with his ticket) (some light rubbing, head of spine torn off but present). Provenance: Jacob Bell (1810-1859) British pharmaceutical chemist, member of the Royal Institution of Great Britain (gift inscription dated 2 June 1859 to); Library of the Royal Institution of Great Britain (blind stamp on half-title).
GOULD’S FIRST WORK, FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE with the backgrounds uncolored ("You will probably recollect that in my first work ... neither the plants or Backgrounds were colored; In order to render the Series of my Publications complete ... I have had those parts colored in the few copies I have left...." Gould to Lord Derby, letter dated 5 Feb. 1844). By 1825 Gould had moved to London to pursue his career as a taxidermist. In 1827, shortly after the foundation of the Zoological Society of London, he was appointed Curator of Birds and Preserver at the Society's museum in Bruton Street. The present work came about as a result of this appointment: while working on a collection of bird specimens from the Himalayas Gould realized that they formed the first collection of any size from the area to reach Europe and that there would be a ready market for a large format work which included accurate descriptive text and plates. Sauer 1; Anker 168; Fine Bird Books p. 77; Nissen IVB 374; Wood p. 364; Zimmer p. 251.
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On 6 and 7 of December Christie’s will offer almost 400 lots from a collection that includes works by Hals, Van Dyck, Leyster, Snyders and Jan Brueghel the Elder
Offered to benefit a new scholarship initiative from Bennington College, this work distils the unique form of abstraction for which the artist would become famous