Animals / Birds
Morpho Gallery’s extensive antique print collection consists of several highly regarded printmakers and book producers of the early 1800’s.
William Curtis began publication of the Botanical Magazine in February 1787 and continued almost without interruption for 160 years. The plates are known for their fine detail and delicate hand coloring. The prints are all copper engravings to Volume 70 & then stone or zinc lithography until the introduction of color printing in 1948. It is the longest running botanical magazine and was entirely hand colored until 1948. The condition of these prints is remarkable for a work that is over 200 years old, with strong plate marks and dates, although some are slightly trimmed. Another noted printmaker is F. J. Bertuch. His volumes of Bilderbuch für Kinder, a large picture atlas for school & home. This is another Bilder Buche in the wonderful tradition of German childrens books & similar to the Hanselmann & Schubert that have been such favorites. As Bilder Books go, this one probably tops them all, as it was a massive work in 12 volumes, published from 1790 to 1810 with about 1,187 prints of a wonderfully comprehensive & eclectic nature. Felix Edward Guerin-Meneville’s Dictionnaire Pittoresque d’Histoire Naturelle, published in Paris 1836-1839. Guerin-Meneville (1799-1874) was an entomologist who has several beetles named after him, and a prodigious publisher of these wonderfully creative & inspirational books. These highly decorative plates are vividly hand colored engravings. The volumes are an eclectic collection of curious and wonderful images of birds, fish, insects, fruit, flowers and people, and was termed an Atlas. Each print is a masterpiece of composition, often with a mélange of different creatures and plants artfully arranged on the same plate. We also carry hand colored woodblock engravings from the 1867 edition of Francis Orpen Morris’ A Natural History of the Nests & Eggs of British Birds.