Spring is finally in the air. The days are longer, the birds are chirpier and we’ve got some fresh picks for the new season. Among the most beautiful and prized prints from the 19th Century depict birds. The Victorians were fascinated by the avian world and lavished lots of attention cataloging and illustrating the myriad species. Birds are particularly colorful and beautiful. We have acquired two series that we are excited about.

The first is Thomas Gentry’s Nests Eggs & Birds of the United States

In response to the general public interest in natural history during the latter part of the nineteenth century, Gentry, a member of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science, provided a different perspective on the birds, showing them in lifelike situations in or near their nests. This provided an interesting addition to the viewer’s understanding of the natural world, as well as a delight for the eyes. Below is the cover, followed by a few of our favorite plates

The second is the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey (1848–1855) This survey determined the border between the United States and Mexico as defined in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which had ended the Mexican–American War. Twenty-five hand-colored lithographic plates of birds were included in the volume Zoology of the Boundary, edited by Spencer Fullerton Baird. These illustrations were prepared by J.T. Bowen and Company of Philadelphia, the same firm that had produced the octavo edition of Audubon’s Birds of America. We also have plates of reptiles, fish, mammals and ethnography from this survey. The bird plates, however, are lavishly hand-colored and among the more beautiful prints we have seen.

Come see the prints in the shop or visit us at the Brooklyn Flea across from Barclays in downtown Brooklyn. Only two weekends left to shop the indoor market. We move outside in April. Visit www.brooklynflea.com for updated locations.

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