Wonderful early ornithology print of 'The Dodo of the North' from the RARE FIRST FOLIO edition

Meyer, H. L.

Bird plate. Great Auk.

Published 1835
Item ID 76392
€250.00

excl. VAT

London, the author, ca. 1835. Folio (37.5 x 27.6 cm). Well preserved hand-painted engraving of a bird in its natural surroundings.

The great auk is one of the earliest birds, after the dodo, known to have become extinct at the hand of humans. In fact, humanity's direct responsibility for the disappearance of the largest non-flying bird of the Arctics is much clearer, because the demise of the dodo was largely due to the (unintentional) introduction of rats and cats, whereas "the Dodo of the North" was exterminated by gun, harpoon and strangulation. Twenty-four complete skeletons, and 78 stuffed great auks are present in museum collections, as well as 69 eggs of a bird that once roamed the North Atlantic in its hundreds of thousands. Dutch-born British ornithologist Henri Leonhard Meyer (1797-1865), author and illustrator of one of the best books on British birds (see, e.g., Hale 2007, 2012), painted this then already rare bird in the 1830s. A decade later, the great auk was no more. This print is in excellent condition. Some light and occasional spotting. No creases, dents or tears present. Anker, p. 58; Hale, W. G. (2007) The Meyer's Illustrations of British Birds; Hale, W. G. (2012) The Meyer's Coloured Illustrations of British Birds and Their Eggs and the Finishing of the Folio 1842-1847; C. E. Jackson, Bird Illustrators, pp. 59-62; Nissen IVB, 628; Wood, p. 462.

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