John Gould

Group of Parrot Lithographs

19th Century

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Hand-colored lithographs from The Birds of Australia.

  • Sold as a set of 4.
  • John Gould (English, 1804-1881).
  • London: For the author, R. & J. Taylor 1848.
  • Framed and glazed.


John Gould is widely considered as the greatest and most ambitious of all Victorian ornithologists, combining both artistic skill, beauty and anatomical accuracy. Following the tradition of natural history illustrators, such as Barraband and Audubon, Gould enlisted the services of some of the most notable ornithological artists; including Edward Lear, Joseph Wolf and his own wife, Elizabeth, to complete the most outstanding and comprehensive works in the field.

A contemporary reviewer said of this work, “Great as is the excellence of Mr Gould’s former publications, there can be no doubt that the present work exceeds them all, both in an artistic and in a scientific point of view... Whether the dignified repose of the eagle, the pert Malurus, the restless parakeet, or the lean and anxious wader, he is equally successful in his efforts.” Indeed, still today, the work is noted as Gould’s most accomplished. In particular, the plates depicting parrots and cockatoos have propelled the work into becoming the most valuable Gould publication. It is also still one of the most comprehensive ornithological works on Australia, an incredible feat considering the continent had only been discovered 70 years previously. As a result of the labors of Gould and his assistants, well over 300 new species were added to the existing list of birds known to inhabit Australasia.


Height: 24.41 inches / 62 cm
Width: 17.13 inches / 43.5 cm
Depth: 1.57 inches / 4 cm

Paper Height: 21.38 inches / 54.3 cm

Paper Width: 14.38 inches / 36.5 cm


Paper, Gilt Wood

Decorative Style

Traditional Style

Country of Origin

United Kingdom

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