Alexander Wilson American Ornithology 1829

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Virginian Rail, Blue Crane, Little Egret
AWO157 $625
Rail, Woodcock
AWO174 $395
Flamingo, Scarlet Ibis, White Ibis, Wood Ibis
AWO158 $795
Great Northern Diver, Black-bellied Darter
AWO161 $595
Long-tailed Duck, Green-winged Teal, Mallard
Canada Goose, Golden Eye, Tufted Duck
AWO160 $625
Brandt, Scoter Duck, Velvet Duck, Harlequin Duck
AWO162 $445
Gadwal Duck, Eider Duck, Ruddy Duck
AWO163 $445
Great Tern, Black Skimmer, Stormy Petrel
AWO164 $425
Turnstone, Sandpiper, Plover
AWO165 $345
Snipe, Avocet, Sandpiper
AWO166 $425
Eskimo Curlew, Esquimaux Curlew EXTINCT, Snipe, Godwit
AWO167 $425
Coot, Purple Gallinule, Phalarope, Plover
AWO168 $395
Spotted Sandpiper, Ring Plover, Golden Plover
AWO169 $325
Ruffed Grous or Pheasant
Great-footed Hawk
AWO172 $425
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Alexander Wilson American Ornithology 1829

Alexander Wilson was born in Scotland, the son of a poor distiller, and was apprenticed as a weaver. An imaginative youth, his first love was poetry, and he soon renounced his humdrum life for the lure of adventure and prosperity in the new world. Arriving in America in 1794, he settled near the cultural mecca of the day, Philadelphia, finding work as a teacher. He met William Bartram, the American naturalist and artist, who encouraged Wilson’s interest in ornithology. So inspired, Wilson taught himself to draw and embarked on the work that was not only to take the rest of his life, but also predated Audubon’s Birds of America.

Wilson spent ten years of his life traveling widely in the eastern United States, discovering 26 previously unknown species. In the next hundred years, only 23 more American land birds would be identified. The first edition of American Ornithology was printed from 1808-1814 and was an outstanding contribution to the world of ornithology as the first work on American birds, printed in America. Sadly, Wilson died in 1813 before the completion of the publication and it was completed by George Ord.

This first edition was published on a poor-quality paper due to financial constraints. Fifteen years later, due to the success of the work, the financing was available to publish an edition on high quality paper with superior hand coloring. The same copper plates were used, so the edition is identical from the perspective of the images and the historical significance of the work, with the added benefit of being highly decorative due to the superior hand coloring.

It is from this 1829 edition that we are pleased to offer a wonderful selection of all the important birds of America. The paper is high quality, thick-wove stock with very few blemishes of any kind, measuring approximately 11 1/4 wide by 14 1/4 inches long, with good plate marks. The original hand coloring is breathtakingly beautiful. These prints are truly a rare treasure, much more so than Audubon prints, and worthy of the pride of place in any print lovers collection.

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