Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig Reichenbach (1793-1879)
ORNITHOLOGICAL ALBUMS. A collection of 3 albums comprising approximately 600 illustrations of birds, of which some 579 are original designs by Reichenbach, either in pencil and watercolour or occasionally in pencil only, unsigned and undated but with the artist's annotations in ink at the foot, tipped onto 365 album leaves (321 x 240mm) according to family divisions, together with 21 hand-coloured or plain engravings by other artists, and forming a three volume collection bound in late 19th-century green morocco, the spines gilt-lettered 'Reichenbach original drawings,' and reflecting the divisions into 'Certhinae,' 'Hirundineae,' and 'Chioninae, Tetraoninae.'
A MAGNIFICENT COLLECTION OF REICHENBACH WATERCOLOURS of game birds, swallows, sunbirds and other exotic species. Most of the original designs are after the published work of Gould and other artists, but Reichenbach sometimes improves on the accuracy of the original, and shows a rare and unfailing ability to work on a reduced scale, often highlighting his colours with varnish. Sizes vary from between 279 x 215mm. and 50 x 44mm. (Certhinae), 290 x 221mm. and 89 x 59mm. (Hirundineae), 289 x 225 and 34 x 55mm. (Chioninae, Tetraoninae). Some designs are so small and yet so finely detailed as to constitute genuine ornithological miniatures. Together the three albums form a significant part of a once larger archive formed by the artist and used as the basis for his great ornithological work Die Vollständigste Naturgeschicte der Vögel des In- und Auslandes (Dresden and Leipzig, 1845-1862, 14 vols., 4° and 8°). Another part of the same archive was sold by Christie's, London, 8 November 2000, lot 152. (3)