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These striking hand-colored engravings of birds are from a very rare work by Adam Ludwig Wirsing entitled Recueil des Principaux Oiseaux et Nids d’Oiseaux de Allemagne (Anthology of the Principal Birds and Nests of Germany), published in Nuremburg in 1777. No work with this French title can be found in any standard bibliography, making it quite rare indeed. Wirsing created these fine prints after those by Barbara Dietzsch. Due to the outstanding water-color like coloring in this work, these plates have been recognized as the most beautiful German bird illustrations in the 18th century.
The eggs, originally sold with the birds, are actually from Wirsing’s Sammlung von Nesrern und Eyern. They are all on fine chain-linked, watermarked paper that measures ~10 1/2″ by 15 1/2″.
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