This is a hand colored lithograph of the species Ramphomicron ruficeps, (the Red-capped Thorn-Bill hummingbird), drawn by the famous 19th century English naturalist, ornithologist and natural history illustrator JOHN GOULD. The species is found in the lowland jungles of Bolivia. 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, measuring 17 3/4" by 11" inside the linen overmat (which is affixed down on top of the margins), is hand colored. This hand coloring includes the distinctive use of gum arabic which tends to give the feathers of the birds a richness, three dimensionality, and iridescence in several places. The print are in generally good condition considering its age. The paper is toned, not always evenly----there is some brownish discoloration in the field----and, there is a small pressure mark at right. The paper is puckered at top and bottom edges. All of this comes with being 150 years old. The frame is inexpensive/not complementary, and it might behoove the buyer to replace it (not pictured). What appears to be an original page from the book from which this came so long ago is included, part of the backing.
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