William Hayes, artist and ornithologist, produced basso relievo bird pictures, similar to the work of Samuel Dixon (see lot 231 in this sale). In 1771 he published a volume containing forty hand-coloured engravings entitled A Natural History of British Birds etc., with their Portraits accurately drawn and beautifully coloured from Nature and by the late 1780s was employed by the Childs at Osterley, recording the rare birds in their aviary. This resulted in the publication between 1794 and 1799 Portraits of Rare and Curious Birds with their Descriptions. Accurately drawn and beautifully coloured from species in the Menagerie of Child, the Banker at, Osterley Park, nr. London. At first Hayes used his work on British birds as subject matter for his embossed pictures, and laterly used his engravings for the two Osterley volumes. The present lot is likely to have been taken from his first publication, British Birds.
An embossed hand-coloured engraving by Hayes of six British birds, is illustrated in G. Walkling, 'Curious Foreign Bird Pictures', The Connoisseur, July 1979, p. 158. Another embossed picture by Hayes of a crane at Osterley, was sold by The Earl and Countess of Perth, in these Rooms, 18 April 1996, lot 49 (£12,650).
We are grateful to Robert Beardsley, Esq. for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.