A group of six etchings in exceptional, original hand colour published in George Edwards’ famous ornithological work, A Natural History of Uncommon Birds, in London between 1748 and 1764.
These charming images form part of a large collection of mainly ornithological studies compiled by Edwards in the early eighteenth century. Combining his talents as both a scientist and an accomplished draughtsman, Edwards was able to produce some of the finest bird illustrations of his age. He was fortunate in his friendship with Sir Hans Soane, which was to lead to his appointment as Librarian at the Royal College of Physicians in 1773. He was taught the art of etching onto copper by another friend and mentor, Mark Catesby whose own bird illustrations formed the first accurate record of ornithological life in the North American Colonies. Both men were unusual in their involvement at every stage of the work from the original drawings in the field through to the etching of the plates.