Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Selby Snowy Owl

Prideaux John Selby

Snowy Owl

16.5 x 21 inches

A magnificent, large scale copper plate etchings with original hand colour, by P. J. Selby after his own designs, dated 1821 and published as a part of his collective work The Illustrations of British Ornithology, in London in 1834.

The snowy owl is one of the most unusual of Selby's subjects and is only rarely spotted on the British mainland and mostly in the Shetlands and Highlands of Scotland. It would have been even more unusual in Selby's time but then, as now, it migrates from the Arctic when it needs a respite from the extreme cold. It has an abundance of plumage and if you look at this tremendous image you can see that even the feet are covered in long feathers. Don't be deceived by that slightly cute look though; they swallow their smaller prey whole!

P. J. Selby (1788-1867) was an exceptional ornithologist from Northumberland whose work is striking, not least for its size (comparable to the work of Audubon); it has been described as containing "some of the best figures of British birds that have ever been published" and indeed "the finest copper engravings to be found in any ornithological work".


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