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Heinrich Gottlieb Ludwig Reichenbach (German, 1793-1879), Original watercolor drawings for Die Vollständigste Naturgeschichte der Vögel des In- und Auslandes.

  • $ 850,000.00

Original watercolor drawings for Die Vollständigste Naturgeschichte der Vögel des In- und 
Auslandes. Dresden: 1845-1862. 

An assembled collection of original watercolors of birds, bound in 9 volumes. With approximately 909 watercolors and drawings, many after Gould’s illustrations, the majority watercolor and gouache over pencil, many heightened with gum Arabic, together with approximately 89 engraved plates, many from a German edition of Buffon, all of the drawings and most of the plates with manuscript captions, all tipped in, the album leaves watermarked ‘Moufourat,’ modern morocco-backed boards, 4to. The work also includes one drawing signed by Carl Weitz. 

4to. (10 3/8 x 13 inches). Green morocco backed marbled boards. Spine in six compartments and five raised bands; gilt title lettering (“Reichenbach Original Drawings”) in second compartment; gilt album title lettering in the fourth compartment. (Rubbing and wear to spine, lightly discolored leather; bumped corners on boards). The volumes are titled as follows: 

MILVUS, CIRCUS, ASTUR, FALCO (Birds of prey, Falcons, Kites, and Falcons) with  approximately 117 drawings and watercolors, and 3 engravings. 
PLOCEUS, VIDUA, AMADINA, ASTRILDA, PASSERINA, GEOSPIZINEAE (Birds of the weaver  family, indigobirds and whydahs, together with the Cuckoo-finch, Finches, Cardinals)  with approximately 186 drawings and watercolors, and 42 engravings. 
SYLVICOLA, CALAMANTHUS, DRYMOICA, SPHENOEACUS, ORTHOTOMUS, PRINIA, NALURUS (Wrens, Grassbirds and warblers); with approximately 122 drawings and  watercolors, and 7 engravings.
CAMPOPHAGINAE with approximately 48 drawings and watercolors, and 4 engravings.
MOTAG, SYLVINAE, LUSCININAE (Warblers and nightingales); with approximately 115 drawings and watercolors, and 19 engravings.
LONGIROSTRES (Hermits and hummingbirds); with approximately 86 drawings and watercolors, and 5 engravings.
SULA, PHAETON, PLOTUS, PELEGANUS (Boobys, Tropicbirds, Lotus birds, and Pelican birds) with approximately 45 drawings and watercolors.
LAMELLIROSTRES (Waterbirds) 114 ink and watercolor drawings and 6 pencil drawings, and 10 colored plates. Depicting mainly ducks, geese, swans, flamingos; mostly from the Pacific region (Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Formosa, Java, South Africa, Falkland Islands.
ALCEDINIDAE (kingfishers and other brightly colored birds) 65 watercolor and pencil drawings and 1 print Depicting a family of small to medium-sized in the order Coraciiformes. They have a cosmopolitan distribution, with most species found in the tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

An important ornithological archive by botanist, ornithologist and artist Heinrich Reichenbach, who rose to prominence with his Iconographia botanica (1823-1832). His greatest work was the masterpiece of ornithological illustration: Die Vollständigste Naturgeschichte der Vögel des In- und Auslandes. A constant work in progress and eventually extending to fourteen volumes with more than 1000 illustrations.

All the images have Reichenbach’s extensive manuscript notes beneath: each species is identified, and sometimes the original source of the drawing is recorded, including images from the works of Gould, Jardine, Gray, Cassin, Garnier, D’Orbigny and others. Reichenbach has improved many of these images with subtle changes of color and slight alterations to physical features.
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