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Six-plumed Bird of Paradise.

John Gould. John Gould & William Mathew Hart. "Parotia Sepennis. " London. Taylor & Francis for Henry Sotheran Ltd. . Lithographed by Walter. 1875-1888
Original hand-coloured lithograph of the Six-plumed Bird of Paradise, from John Gould's "Birds of New Guinea. " Volume 1, Plate 25.
Two male birds in flight in the foreground showing their bright colours of their plumage; the dowdy female in the background. Bright and clean; fine.

John Gould (1804- 1881) Ornithologist, first trained as a taxidermist, opening a business in London in 1824.
In 1827 he became the first Curator and Preserver at the Museum of the Zoological Society of London; there he oversaw the collection of birds from Himalaya which led to his first published work "A Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains" [ 1830-32]. Throughout his life he eventually published 41 volumes with approximately 3000 plates. covering birds of Europe, Great Britain, Asia, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
The works were published in livraisons, by pre-paid subscrption, each part cost three guineas.
In the early works he was aided in the creation of the plates by his wife Elizabeth Gould, Edward Lear and others.

Gould died in February 1881 having completed the first 12 parts of the present work " The Birds of New Guinea and the adjacent Papuan Islands, including many new species recently discovered in Australia. "
As the title suggests he intended the work to supplement the "Birds of Australia" with the newly discovered species.
After his death, Henry Sotherans purchased his entire stock and copyrights and in a notice to the Subsribers they stated their intention to complete the unfinished works [" Birds of Asia" and" Birds of New Guinea"] using all Gould's staff, artists and colourists under the supervision of William Hart, and with the text edited by Richard Bowdler Sharpe who was Senior Assistant in the Department of Zoology at the British Museum.
Anker 181; Nissen IVB, 373; Sauer 27; 545 by 364mm (21½ by 14¼ inches).   ref: 1553  €450

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