19 November 2002
Claude Wilmot Wyatt (1842-1900)
British Birds: being coloured illustrations of all the species of Passerine birds resident in the British Isles. London: Taylor & Francis for William Wesley & son, 1894-1899. 2 volumes, large 4° (325 x 257mm). 67 FINE LITHOGRAPHED PLATES by Wyatt, HAND-COLOURED by the Misses Sharpe, printed by Mintern Bros. Contemporary brown half calf gilt, black morocco lettering pieces (extremities slightly scuffed). Provenance: Fattorini Collection (bookplate, sale: these rooms, 25 October 1995, lot 52).
THE FATTORINI COPY OF THE FIRST EDITION. 'Hugh Fattorini's collection... was built up over a period of forty years, during which time every opportunity was taken to exchange one copy for another of superior quality.' (Christine Jackson, introduction to Christie's catalogue, 1995). 'Except in ornithological circles, this very good artist and author is unknown... Wyatt's fine plates were enhanced by the work of Dr. R. B. Sharpe's daughters.' (Jackson). Mullens and Swann call this work 'probably the best "working" book of illustrations: the artists have avoided the too common fault of over-colouring the birds figured.' Fine Bird Books p.116; Nissen IVB 1027; Mullens & Swann p.667; Zimmer p.694.
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