A very rarely seen John Gould original watercolour

Gould, J.

Nyctale tengmalmi Boreal Owl. Original watercolour by John Gould.

Published 1868
Item ID 77517
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[London, the artist, (before) 1868]. Single leaf (53.2 x 35.3 cm visible). Framed and glazed.

This is the original watercolour painted by the great British ornithologist and bird painter, John Gould (1804-1881) for plate 36 of Part One of his famous work, The Birds of Great Britain. Gould depicted a specimen of the boreal owl, Aegolius funereus (Linnaeus) or Tengmalm's owl. Gould used the younger name Nyctale tengmalmi for this species. This specimen is shown with its prey, a house mouse. The boreal owl occurs in dense coniferous forests across the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and North America (Alaska, Great Lakes), and more southern in mountain ranges such as the Alps and the Rockies. The engraved printed version, first published in 1868 (Waterhouse), is quite faithful to this original, though in mirror image, and somewhat simpler in detail, especially the plumage, which in this original is very accurately executed. Gould added the volume and plate number in pencil, as usual. Nissen IVB, 372; Sitwell, Fine Bird Books, p. 102; Waterhouse, F. H. (1885) The Dates of Publication of Some of the Zoological Works of the Late John Gould, F.R.S, p. 13; Zimmer, p. 261.

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