Eleazar Albin Copper Plate Engravings Natural History Birds 1731

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Title Page
EAL2 
$95
Sale Price: $
65
Title Page
EAL3 
$85
Sale Price: $59
Title Page
EAL4
$85
Sale Price: $59
Albin The Bantam Cock
EAL5
$345
Sale Price: $
235
Albin Galapagos Cristatus, The Crested Turkey Cock
EAL6 
$345
Sale Price: $
235
Albin Hamburg Cock
EAL7
SOLD
Albin Psittacus Viridis & Luteus Barbadensis, the Green & Yellow Parrot from Barbadoes
EAL17
$245
Sale Price: $
165
Albin The Bracket Parrakeet from East India
EAL18
$265
Sale Price: $185
Albin Fridatutah Bengall Paroquet
EAL19
$245
Sale Price: $
165
Albin Pica Glandaria, Jay
EAL20
$215
Sale Price: $150
Albin Psittacus Max, Macao
EAL9 
$345
Sale Price: $
235
Albin Pica Glandaria Capensis,
Jay from the Cape of Good Hope
EAL22
$245
Sale Price: $
165
Albin Picus maximus niger, The great black Woodpecker
EAL23
$215
Sale Price: $150
Albin Merops Bengalensis, Bee-Eater
EAL24
$215
Sale Price: $150
Albin Picus varius major, Great Spotted Woodpecker
EAL25
$225
Sale Price: $155
Albin The Red Peruvian Hen
EAL32
$265
Sale Price: $185
Albin Cassawar Cock, The Cassowary or Emu
EAL30 
$345
Sale Price: $
235
Albin Carassow Cock
EAL34
$225
Sale Price: $155
Albin Gallina Africana, Guiny Hen
EAL35
$275
Sale Price: $189
Albin Pica Brasiliensis, Brasilian Pie
EAL27
$275
Sale Price: $189
Albin Grygallus minor, Black Game Hen or Grous
EAL37
$245
Sale Price: $
165
Albin Woodpecker
EAL38
SOLD
Albin Paroquet from the East Indies
EAL39
$225
Sale Price: $155
Albin The Green Woodpecker or Woodspite
EAL40
$245
Sale Price: $
165
Albin The Turkey Cock
EAL41 
$345
Sale Price: $
235
Albin Wood Crow from Switzerland
EAL42
$265
Sale Price: $185
Albin Hen Pidgeon from Ninkcombar Islands
EAL43
$265
Sale Price: $185
Albin Cock Pidgeon from Ninkcombar Islands
EAL44
$265
Sale Price: $185
Albin Phasianus mas, Cock Pheasant
EAL45
$345
Sale Price: $
235
Albin Phasiana foemina, Hen Pheasant
EAL46
$245
Sale Price: $
165
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Eleazar Albin Copper Plate Engravings Natural History Birds 1731

We are very pleased to offer these original copper plate engravings by Eleazar Albin the 1st English edition of The Natural History of Birds. This is the rarest and most highly prized of Albin’s works as it was hand coloured entirely by Albin and his daughter, Elizabeth. There were only 89 sets published, and we have linked the list of original subscribers below. It was a monumental undertaking seen only a few times in the history of natural history works and compares with the illustration of 60 editions of The Birds of Great Britain, with their Eggs by William Lewin and his sons and the colouring of 100 copies of Birds of America by Rex Brasher.

The Title Page of the publication reads, "Published by the Author Eleazar Albin, and carefully colour'd by his Daughter and Self, from the Originals, drawn from the live Birds."

The Names of the Subscribers can be viewed by clicking here.

Albin was a German professional painter who settled in England in 1707, where he married and raised a family, changing his name from Weiss to Albin. He illustrated works on insects and spiders, earning his living by making watercolors of the collections of wealthy patrons, including Sir Hans Sloane, whose collection founded the British Museum. His work on birds was done late in his life & was the first large English work on ornithology, hand-colored by Albin and his daughter Elizabeth & published initially in London from 1731-1738.

In Albin's notes to the reader he states "As for the paintings, they are all done from the life, with all the Exactness I could either with my own hand, or my daughters, whom I have taught to draw and paint after the life." As was the custom with many other works of the day, it was sold by subscription. Ref: Dictionary of Bird Artist, p132.

Each print measures approximately 9 inches by 11 1/4 inches with wonderful copperplate style descriptions on the bottom of the page. The paper is creamy, strong and chain-lined, with some watermarks. We have made some allowances for condition as it is from such a historical early set hand coloured by Eleazer and Elizabeth Albin. There is little foxing, but some toning of the paper and some slight offset. Unusual for Albin, the margins are intact except in a few cases and the plate marks present and strong. There is an accompanying copy of the title page, and either the original or facsimile descriptive text as it was printed back to back.

The hand coloring is exactly as the master wished, since he did it himself, some 250 years old, and it could not be more exceptional to know that each print has been touched by his hand, or his daughters’. Popular from the initial publication, attracting almost 100 subscribers, it is no less beloved today. There is an endearing & engaging quality to these illustrations that resemble the folk art of later times and we are delighted to offer this rare treasure to our buyers.


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