Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Lear Cockatoo

Edward Lear

Calyptorhynchus Baudinii [Baudin's Cockatoo]

19 x 25 inches

A lithograph with original, hand coloured tinting, drawn and lithographed by Edward Lear and published in London, 1832.

It is such a rare thing to come across Edward Lear's parrots and cockatoos. This lovely example comes from Lear's early masterpiece, "Illustrations of the Family Psittacidae, or Parrots", printed by H. Hullmandel in London in 1832. Lear began sketching parrots and tropical birds in 1830 when, aged only 18, he started to visit the zoological gardens in London's Regent's Park. By 1832 he had produced 42 lithographed images which were published collectively in a venture that would prove financially disappointing but caught the eye of his future collaborator, John Gould. In order to recoup some of his losses, Lear worked throughout the 1830s for Gould in the production of his Birds of Europe and instructed Gould's wife Elizabeth in the lithographic process. Only 175 copies of "The Illustrations" were published so this cockatoo is a rare example of Lear's early talent. As for the bird itself, this black cockatoo is a native of southwest Australia and is named after the Frenchman who discovered it, Nicolas Baudin. It is acknowledged that Lear's drawing and the subsequent lithograph were the first depictions of this species and would consequently have caused quite a stir, ruffling a few feathers in ornithological circles at the time!


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