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c1870 Hand Colored Hooded Crow Print matted in Chrome Frame (Rev. F.O. Morris)
Old print with hand colored washes and titled HOODED CROW probably removed from a copy of Rev. Frances Orpen Morris’s A History of British Birds first published in the 1850s and then again in about 1870. The engraver was Benjamin Fawcett. The example listed here is not a modern reproduction and is at least 140 years old, if not even older. All of the photos are taken with the glass in place and so occasionally there are reflections captured in some of the photos (see lower right corner of Photo 8 for example). The original water color and gauche washes added by hand help underscore its age. The colors include brown (the eye), steel gray, light brown, light gray, blue gray, and violet gray. The subtle shades of gray help produce a sheen-like effect to the black feathers. A nice hand painted example from the golden age of naturalist publications and prints. The early leaders among naturalists who set out to document bird species were, of course, John Gould (along with his wife Elizabeth Coxen Gould) and John James Audubon. Both published major compendiums on birds in the 1830s often using a subscription system whereby individuals folios were printed and hand colored that could then be bound together upon completion. The hand colored print offered here comes from the next generation of naturalists who followed it their foot steps.
Reverend Morris was born in 1810, was interested in nature and birds, was a respected member of the Ashmolean Society and died at about age 83 in 1893. As noted above, Rev. Morris published his compendium on British Birds in the early 1850s. The original publisher was Groombridge & Sons, Pasternoster Row, London and they issued Morris’s first edition between 1851 and 1857. The book was also published again in about 1870. Some examples of Morris’s Hooded Crow print have ‘52' below the name either referencing page 52 or Plate 52. The print listed here does not have 52 (see Photo 4) and this may help define whether it is from the 1851-57 first edition period or from the later 1870 facsimile. The immediate image area measures about 5 inches (height) by 4 inches and the exposed paper within the matted area measures about 8 by 6 inches (height by width).
The print offered here is in excellent condition with no major stains, no foxing and overall even aging in the visible area shown within the matted edges. It is on wove paper and the sheet size is 9 3/4 inches by 6 5/8 inches with the right side trimmed to remove the binding edge (this occurred decades before I acquired the print). It is removed from a bound version of Morris’s book and has been trimmed many years ago. The outer edges along the tail side (both along the left edge and also the bottom edge) show additional aging since these two edges were exposed along the original outer edge of the page and would also have been touched more often as pages were turned by hand. The top of the print lacks aging and thus may also possibly have been trimmed too. There is no text or printing on the back side of the page.
This is a nice print more than 140 years old that is already matted, framed and fully ready for hanging. The frame is metal with the appearance of shiny chrome along its face and brushed chrome along each side. The print is protected by clean glass and the dark grayish blue matting exhibits no fading. And as always, this framed print also comes with my Docs Antiques 100% satisfaction guarantee or you may return it using my return policy (see full Return Policy details farther below). This item would also make a nice gift for the nature lover, history buff, or art lover or decorator and would look equally well in a home or in an office or business.
CONDITION & SIZE: This frame and print are in excellent condition and come from a smoke-free environment. The frame measures about 12 1/4 inches (tall) by 9 1/4 inches (wide) and is about 1 inch thick. Details on the image size was previously given above.
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Dr. Moir, Frisco, TX
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