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Antique Print of the Male Ruff Bird by Albin (c.1738)

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Description

Description

Description: Antique print titled ‘Avis pugnax mas’. Old bird print of the male ruff bird (Calidris pugnax), amedium-sized wading bird that breeds in marshes and wet meadows across northern Eurasia . This highly gregarious sandpiper is migratory and sometimes forms huge flocks in its winter grounds, which include southern and western Europe, Africa, southern Asia and Australia. This print originates from ‘The Natural History of Birds’ by E. Albin. 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. 

Artists and Engravers: Eleazar 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.

  • Date: c.1738
  • Overall size: 22 x 29 cm.
  • Image size: 21 x 24 cm.
  • Condition: Good, original/contemporary hand coloring. Minor foxing, general age-related toning. Blank verso, please study image carefully.

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This print originates from 'Nederlandsche Vogelen; volgens hunne huisdouding, aert, en eigenschappen beschreeven', Amsterdam, 1770-1829 by C. Nozeman, M. Houttuyn and J.C. Sepp. This is the most important and first study in the Netherlands of ornithology at that time. The birds are depicted as they are in life, said to be depicted close to life sized and in their environment.


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