|Method||Etching with hand original colouring|
|Published||London: Printed for the Author, at the College of Physicians in Warwick-Lane. |
|Dimensions||Image 225 x 185 mm, Plate 233 x 185 mm, Sheet 281 x 224 mm|
Plate 8 from George Edwards' A Natural History of Uncommon Birds (1743-1751) and Gleanings of Natural History (1758-1764). Originally published as two separate works, but now considered one, Edwards depicted a large number of species from life for the first time in this very important work.
George Edwards (April 3, 1694 - July 23, 1773) was, like Catesby, one of the pioneers of natural history documentation, and is known as the "Father of British Ornithology." His marvellous A Natural History of Birds (London: 1743-51) was produced almost single-handedly. Edwards not only wrote the text for the book but also made the drawings, etched the plates, and hand coloured the prints to be bound in each volume. Seligmann began issuing his ambitious series just a few years after Edwards and Catesby each published their landmark works. The text was translated into German by Georg Leonhard Huth, and Seligmann produced all new plates based on the images of the two Englishmen. In bringing these masterworks to the continental audience, Seligmann has earned himself a rightful place in natural history circles, and his charming prints, reflecting well on their sources, stand on their own as another respected source for 18th-century natural history documentation.
Edwards was born at Stratford, Essex. In his early years he travelled extensively through mainland Europe, studying natural history, and gained some reputation for his coloured drawings of animals, especially birds. In 1733, on the recommendation of Sir Hans Sloane, he was appointed librarian to the Royal College of Physicians in London.