22 March 2000
An album of eleven watercolours of birds. [Germany: mid-18th century]. 2° (413 x 330mm). 11 original watercolour and bodycolour drawings of birds on paper (with occasional watermark HIS within a rayed sun and initials MPW), three mounted. Modern morocco-backed marbled boards, titled in gilt on spine.
A FINELY DRAWN SELECTION BY A SINGLE HAND, WITH CAREFUL ATTENTION PAID TO THE DETAILING OF THE PLUMAGE, perhaps suggesting preparatory drawings for engraving. The birds are clearly drawn from nature, and have the appearance of portraits of individual birds rather than generalised depictions of types. The subjects include a Starling, Quail, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Goldcrest, Brambling, Great Tit and Jackdaw. Talented natural history artists were particularly active in Nuremberg and Augsburg in the 18th century, and perhaps it was from this lively milieu that these drawings originate.
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