Isaac Spackman, imitating Samuel Dixon's technique, worked in Islington, London between 1750-1771. Using George Edwards' Natural History of Uncommon Birds 1743-1751 as his source, Spackman produced three sets of birds, one in 1754, one in 1764 and another at a later date. Until now this date has not been known but the date 1769 on this lot suggests that it was in that year. Although Dixon and Spackman used the same sources and often illustrated the same birds, Spackman's style is distinctive due to his simplistic rendering of background details.
A picture of the Chinese pheasant sold anonymously in these Rooms, 15 November 1990, part lot 12. Two others of the Touraco were sold anonymously in these Rooms, 29 November 1984, part lot 20, and from the collection of the late Mrs Robert Tritton, Godmersham Park, Christie's house sale, 6-9 June 1983, part lot 248. These two pictures were adapted from Edward's illustration in vol. II, 68 and Vol. I, 7 respectively.
Several similar examples of these pictures are illustrated in More about Samuel Dixon and his Imitators, The Quarterly Bulletin of the Irish Georgian Society, June 1980; the black Headed Icterus, p. 14, fig. 12; the Touraco, p. 17, fig. 14; and the Chinese Pheasants, p. 18, fig. 15