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These wonderful, ORIGINAL WATERCOLORS are from the beautiful ornithological collection by William Lewin entitled The Birds of Great Britain. Lewin created just 60 sets of these unique original watercolors. Lewin traced each image by hand then colored them himself. Its scarcity has lead it to be known as “The rarest of all English bird books.”
Lewin was “the best zoological painter, and one of the most practical naturalists of his day,” according to Swainson. Not only depicting the birds, Lewin also rendered the eggs of each bird found in his work. The birds themselves are captured in lifelike poses, quite to the contrast of other works during this period. This superb first edition is distinguished from the second edition in which the plates are slightly smaller and are hand-colored engravings rather than original watercolors. In all, Lewin painted over 20,000 watercolors for the 60 sets, an enormous feat for any individual. Great Bird Books gives this delightful work its highest rating of three stars. They are on fine woven paper that measures ~11″ by 13 3/4″.
Bookplate of Eleanor Barritt. Nissen IVB, 562; Fine Bird Books, 91; Mullens and Swann pp. 349-51.
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