Alexander Wilson American Ornithology 1829

While our images are electronically watermarked, the antique prints themselves are not.

Maryland Yellow-throat, Cow Bunting AWO153 $245
Each print measures approximately 11 1/4 inches wide by 14 1/4 inches long.

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.

We accept credit cards & PayPal. Florida state residents pay Florida state sales tax. Shipping for this item is $12.95. Items can be combined to save on postage. International shipping starts at $40, but may be more depending on the size of the prints and the country. Buyers are responsible for all customs duties. Our environment is smoke free. We pack professionally using only new materials. All items are beautifully wrapped and suitable for sending directly as gifts. You may return any item within 14 days if not satisfied. To order, you may call us at 1-888-PANTEEK, or send email to

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