This is a hand colored lithograph of the species Leiothrix luteus, drawn by the famous 19th century English naturalist, ornithologist and natural history illustrator JOHN GOULD, the lithographic plate produced by his assistant Henry Constantine Richter (1821-1902). The "Leiothrix" is more commonly known as the Red-billed Leiothrix, and is found in many parts of Asia, from Pakistan to China, through much of the Himalayas and Southeast Asia, and, especially, near Darjeeling in the hill country of India. Gould's prints of hummingbirds are most likely his most popular, but over a period of many years, especially in the 1830's and 1840's, he produced a number of major works on the birds of various geographic regions of the world, such as Europe, the Himalayas, and Australia. Gould's observations of birds collected by Darwin led to the latter's theories on evolution. Gould was a taxidermist, professional gardener and zoological curator in the course of his long career, and he prospered greatly from the sale of the lithographs of birds. This example, the actual sheet measuring 20" by 14", (29" by 22" framed) is hand colored. The print has been matted in an unusual manner, an octagon at top serving as a window of sorts onto the main image, while the title and artist/lithographer names are in a separate window below. I have opened the back of the piece and see that the sheet is clumsily taped to the blue mat, but it can be removed from it completely. I also see that as one might expect, the unusual mat has left its mark, there being mat-related browning in the shape of the mat. There is also an old discoloration spot, so, it appears that the previous owner framed this in this way so as to salvage the image portion. So I would imagine that if you were to remove and discard the blue mat entirely, you would have a print with these outlined, browning/oxidation areas remaining. **ALLOW FOR REFLECTIONS IN MANY IMAGES; PHOTOS WERE TAKEN THROUGH GLASS WITH SOME TAPE RESIDUE REMAINING; THESE MARKS AND STREAKS ARE NOT ON THE IMAGE PORTION**. including other works of the Gould and Richter collaboration.
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