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The following 17 lots (144-160) are ORIGINAL WATERCOLOURS FOR PRIDEAUX JOHN SELBY'S ILLUSTRATIONS OF BRITISH ORNITHOLOGY (Edinburgh: 1821-1834), from the library of H. Bradley Martin. Selby's celebrated work, 'our English equivalent of Audubon's famous work' (Mullens and Swann), was the most obvious result of his life-long passion for natural history in general and ornithology in particular. Christine Jackson, when commenting on the beautiful watercolours produced by Selby from 1819 to 1823, noted that besides 'collecting and preserving birds, Selby had observed them in the field, making careful notes of their habitats and habits ... he also sensitively coloured drawings of them. With this accumulation of practical knowledge, specimens, and some drawings, Selby embarked in 1819 on an ambitious project to publish [a work containing] the most up-to-date, life-size illustrations of British birds'.
Some drawings are by Selby's brother-in-law, Robert Mitford, but are signed in Selby's hand. All are in watercolour, gouache, grey and brown washes, some with additional graphite and gouache, and pen and ink. Each on thick paper, mounted on larger sheets. Provenance: H. Bradley Martin (sale Sotheby's New York, June 8, 1989).
Titles and plate numbers are taken from the published printed plates.