Antique print on wove paper taken from a steel engraving produced by William Lizars for a series edited by Sir William Jardine. The series entailed forty volumes produced under ‘The Naturalist’s Library.’ This particular hand colored print comes from Volume II of the fourteen volume set that is devoted Ornithology. Volume II is titled ‘The Natural History of Birds of Western Africa and was published in 1837. The engraved page bearing the oriole image (Photo 1 and 9) also has several labels included on it. This page is labeled PLATE 1 at the top right (see Photo 9) and then also has AFRICAN GOLDEN ORIOLE as a title at the center of the bottom (see Photos 6 and 9). This bird is known in scientific nomenclature as Oriolus auratus as named by Vieillot (see Photo 7). The title at the bottom is also flanked by ‘Swainson del.’ on the left and ‘Lizars sc.’ to the right. These Latin abbreviations refer to Swainson as the original artist-creator of the image that was copied by the engraver Lizars. William Home Lizars was an Edinburgh printer, publisher and engraver and was, related to William Jardine in that the two men were brothers-in-law after Jardine married Jane Home Lizars. After Jane’s death, Jardine married the daughter of a renown geologist, Reverend Samuel Symonds.
Sir William Jardine was born February 23, 1800, in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was receiver of the title of 7th Baronet of Applegarth. He achieved fame as a naturalist at a time when the systematic study and inventorying of living things and also natural inorganic phenomena was rapidly evolving and setting the way for great synthesizers such as Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell to proffer their grand theories. Although Jardine’s primary passion was ornithology, he was also well versed in ichthyology, botany, geology and even pursued an interest in prehistory when compiling a treatise on burrows and traces. Jardine’s accomplishments and published works are vast and his private natural history library and museum was said to be among the finest in all of Britain at the time. Jardine died November 21, 1874, in Sandown on the Isle of Wight, England.
The print offered here is expertly matted and comes with some associated materials that include three printed sheets (six printed sides total) which constitute pages 33, 34, 103, 104 and 105 and discuss Orioles (Photos 7 and 8) along with page 106 that addresses other species under the Family of Sylviadae. The sheet with the engraving of the Oriole as shown in Photo 2 makes eight pages total as offered under this listing. All four sheets have aged and mellowed evenly over the ensuing centuries since 1837. Photos 7, 8 and 9 illustrate that their condition is good with no major issues. And the coloring added to this engraving is comparatively bold and likely as vivid today as the day it was added by hand by an illustrator some 181 years ago.
SIZE & CONDITION: The visible portion of the print as shown within the matting measures 3 3/4 inches by 6 1/4 inches whereas each printed sheet measures by 6 9/16 inches by approximately 4 inches. Photo 3 shows the internal mounting behind the print which is also covered by a back piece of mounting board (board and matting appear to be acid free). The matting itself measures 9 inches by almost 12 inches. The print is in very good condition with no tears, foxing, stains, folds, or marks and an overall even toning or paper mellowing from being 180 years old. The yellow coloring on the Oriole is strong and clean while the black coloring is solid, bold and has no fading. Of course, if the buyer is not completely satisfied, then she/he may return the print and all of its associated materials for a refund (all pages and parts are sold as a single lot and must be returned together in the same condition as sold as noted under our return policy as explained farther below).
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RL Listing Error: This listing is originally under Docs Inventory #RL911.a2212 and not RL915.a2204 as shown here.
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