Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918! Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918!
Antique prints from Darvill's since 1918 About Darvill's Rare Prints
Rare Maps and Charts Limited edition prints from Alaska's most famous artist Rie Munoz Darvill's Rare Prints homepage Sorry, we do not perform appraisals and we do not buy from unsolicited sources.

A History of British Birds

by Rev. Francis Orpen Morris

(1851-1903, London)


Original Hand-coloured Wood Engravings over 100 years old


Sheet size: approximately 6.5 x 10 inches (varies slightly by year)


Rev. Francis Orpen Morris
(1810-1893)

The inspiration for Francis Orpen Morris' A History of British Birds actually came from the renowned English printer, Benjamin Fawcett, who approached Morris to write the text when Morris became Vicar of Nafferton. Morris had a reputation as a popular writer on natural history in general and birds in particular. His first book, Guide to an Arrangement of British Birds, had appeared as early as 1834. However, his association with Benjamin Fawcett was to have remarkable results, particularly for the study of ornithology.

 

A History of British Birds was entirely printed and bound in the small North Country village of Driffield, Fawcett’s residence and shop, and shipped in tea chests to London. It was a resounding success. Work on A History of British Birds probably began in 1848. Publication, which took over seven years to complete from June 1850, was undertaken in monthly parts costing one shilling. Each part contained 24 pages of letterpress and 4 hand-coloured plates. The final six-volume work contained 358 coloured plates. One thousand copies of the first part were initially produced, but such was the demand that Fawcett quickly had to move into larger premises.

 

Alexander Francis Lydon was one of Fawcett’s principal engravers, contributing much in technique and design. A team of women colourists under very strict scrutiny first from Fawcett, then his wife (a former colourist herself) hand colored each plate.
Morris became an early advocate for conservation and was instrumental in founding
the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

 

Various editions of A History of British Birds were published from circa 1851 to circa 1903.
All were published with the hand-colouring of the time.

 

[References include Fine Bird Books, p125 & Benjamin Fawcett, p 77.]

 

THE AVAILABLE PLATES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER.
PLEASE CLICK ON THE THUMBNAILS FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW OF THE ENTIRE PLATE.
ALPINE ACCENTOR
ALPINE ACCENTOR
$35
(light scattered foxing—another print is available without foxing, but it has a buff colored background, please enquire if interested. See also "Alpine Warbler"; they appear to be the same engraving with different names in different volumes.)
ALPINE SWIFT
ALPINE SWIFT
$40
ALPINE WARBLER
ALPINE WARBLER
$40
(very faint scattered foxing—appears to be same engraving as "Alpine Accentor" with name change in an earlier or later edition)
AMERICAN BITTERN
AMERICAN BITTERN
AMERICAN BITTERN
AMERICAN BITTERN
$35
(scattered foxing in margins, old hinging tape on BACK in corners)
ANDALUSIAN QUAIL
ANDALUSIAN QUAIL
$40
ARCTIC TERN
ARCTIC TERN
$35
(on smaller sheet (approx. 7¼ x 4¾ inches) and with an uncolored "habitat." See print to right for a larger sheet and colored habitat.)
ARCTIC TERN
ARCTIC TERN
$40
(a couple of very tiny fox marks)
AVOCET
AVOCET
$40
(light foxing)
BAILLON'S CRAKE
BAILLON'S CRAKE
$35
(on smaller sheet (approx. 7¼ x 4¾ inches) and with an uncolored "habitat." See print to right for a larger sheet and colored habitat.)
BAILLON'S CRAKE
BAILLON'S CRAKE
$40
BARBARY PARTRIDGE
BARBARY PARTRIDGE
$40
A few specks in upper margin, easily covered once mounted/matted
BARRED WARBLER
BARRED WARBLER
$40
A few faint fox marks in left margin
BAR-TAILED GODWIT
BAR-TAILED GODWIT
foxed
 
BARTRAM'S SANDPIPER
BARTRAM'S SANDPIPER
$40
BEAN GOOSE
BEAN GOOSE
$40
BERNICLE GOOSE
BERNICLE GOOSE
$45
BEWICK'S SWAN
BEWICK'S SWAN
$45
BITTERN
BITTERN
$40
BLACK GROUSE
BLACK GROUSE
$40
Lower margin trimmed to just below title; first edition print with buff background; light age toning to paper
BLACK GUILLEMOT
BLACK GUILLEMOT
$40
BLACK KITE
BLACK KITE
$40
BLACK STORK
BLACK STORK
$40
BLACK TERN
BLACK TERN
$35
(on smaller sheet (approx. 7¼ x 4¾ inches) and with an uncolored "habitat." See print below for a larger sheet and colored habitat.)
BLACK TERN
BLACK TERN
$40
BLACK WOODPECKER
BLACK WOODPECKER
$40
BLACKBIRD
BLACKBIRD
$40
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