John Gould 1849 Scaly Puff Leg Humming Birds

Catalog Number 46450
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Artist Biography:

John Gould [1804 - 1881] was a self-taught English naturalist, a gifted artist, & a talented taxidermist. A man of vision, with a talent for organization and administration, he founded an empire for ornithological illustration, publishing more than forty large folio volumes. These works contained over 3,000 plates, all superbly drawn and meticulously hand colored. The first work appeared in 1831 and the last in 1888, seven years after Gould's death. His was a true Horatio Alger story, beginning with humble origins as the son of a gardener. He learned taxidermy at an early age, becoming a taxidermist for the Zoological Society of London in 1827. During this same year he married Elizabeth Coxen, who embraced his goal ardently and can be credited for much of this success. Though Gould sketched the outline designs of every plate, many of the finished drawings, transfers to Lithographic stone & hand coloring were her work. Credit should also be given to his talented secretary Edwin Charles Prince, and the team of gifted artists assembled to complete these tremendous publications. These included E. Lear, J. Wolf, W. M. Hart & H. C. Richter. By mid-life Gould was recognized as an ornithological authority and a man of science and in 1843 was elected Fellow of the Royal Society. His first work was "A Century of Birds from the Himalayan Mountains", published in 1831. Unlike many of his peers, he was a consummate businessman and skillful marketer, so his works became very successful early on. This provided funding for his travel to far-flung parts of the world such as Australia, America and New Guinea to observe and sketch the species of these countries. After the premature death of Elizabeth at the age of 37 four days after the birth of her sixth child and Lear’s departure, Gould embarked on a new partnership with Richter. The great success of their first collaboration, Birds of Australia (1849-1883) encouraged Gould to embark on The Birds of Great Britain (1862-1873), generally considered to be his greatest achievement. Issued in parts over 8 or 9 years, the completed set contained 367 plates and attracted 468 subscribers, both private and institutions, led by Queen Victoria. Birds of Asia was started in 1850 & completed by Sharpe after Gould’s death at the age of 1881.


1849 -1861


A Monograph of the Trochilidae or Family of Humming-birds



Plate No.:



Scaly Puff-leg [Eriocnemis Squamata]. “This species has only been found in Equator, as the printing of this book, where it inhabits multiple areas.” The print represents two adult males, all actual sizes.

Print Method:

Lithograph – hand colored on heavy woven paper


Excellent condition.

Size of Print:

Size of Print: 470mm x 370mm [approximately 18 1/2" x 14 1/2"]

Size of Leaf:

Size of Print: 470mm x 370mm [approximately 18 1/2" x 14 1/2"]


Dictionary of Bird Artist of the World Christine E. Jackson p.259-26 E Jackson; Nissen 380 p.119; Anker 177 John Gould’s Hummingbirds Wellfleet Notes to plates p. 51

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