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A Natural History of the Nests and Eggs of British Birds
by Rev. Francis Orpen Morris
Published in 1896 by John C. Nimmo, London

Original antique color wood engravings over 110 years old
"Chiefly coloured by hand" • Titles in English
Sheet size: approximately 6.5 x 10 inches.

Rev Morris
Rev. Francis Orpen Morris
(1810-1893)
The inspiration for Francis Orpen Morris' A History of British Birds actually came from the renowned English printer, Benjamion Fawcett, who approached Morris to write the text when Morris became Vicar of Nafferton. Morris had a reputation as a popular writer on natural history in general and birds in particular. His first book had appeared as early as 1834, a guide to an arrangement of British birds. However, his association with Benjamin Fawcett was to have remarkable results, particularly for the study of ornithology.

A History of British Birds was entirely printed and bound in the small North Country village of Driffield, Fawcett’s residence and shop, and shipped in tea chests to London. It was a resounding success.

Work on A History of British Birds probably began in 1848. Publication, which took over seven years to complete from June 1850, was undertaken in monthly parts costing one shilling. Each part contained 24 pages of letterpress and 4 hand-coloured plates. The final six volume work contained 358 coloured plates. One thousand copies of the first part were initially produced, but such was the demand that Fawcett quickly had to move into larger premises.

Alexander Francis Lydon was one of Fawcett’s principal engravers, contributing much in technique and design A team of women colourists under very strict scrutiny first from Fawcett then his wife (a former colourist herself) hand coloured each plate.

Morris became an early advocate for conservation and was instrumental in founding the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

References include Fine Bird Books, p125 & Benjamin Fawcett, p 77.

Various Editions a History of British Birds were published from circa 1851 to circa 1903.
All were published with the hand-colouring of the time.

Please click on the thumbnail images for an enlarged view. Due to their age, the printing process and type of paper used, there may be some foxing or white spots inherent in the lithography of the tinted background. Please have a look at the enlargements for best look at each print's condition.
(The Darvill's digital watermark is to deter image theft and does not appear on the antique print. )
Pied Wagtail, White Wagtail
PLATE LXIV
Pied Wagtail
White Wagtail
Grey headed Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail
PLATE LXVI
Grey headed Wagtail
Yellow Wagtail
Red throated Pipit
PLATE LXIX
Red throated Pipit
$39.95
Tree Pipit
PLATE LXX
Tree Pipit
$39.95
Rock Pipit
PLATE LXXI
Rock Pipit
Wood Lark
PLATE LXXIII
Wood Lark
$35
Sky Lark, Crested Lark
PLATE LXXIV
Sky Lark
Crested Lark
$39.95
Reed Bunting
PLATE LXXVII
Reed Bunting
$39.95
Rustic Bunting, Little Bunting
PLATE LXXVII*
Rustic Bunting
Little Bunting
Cirl Bunting, Ortolan
PLATE LXXIX
Cirl Bunting
Ortolan
$39.95
Tree Sparrow
PLATE LXXXII
Tree Sparrow
$39.95
Sparrow
PLATE LXXXIII
Sparrow
$39.95
Serin Finch
PLATE LXXXIV*
Serin Finch
Mealy Redpole, Twite
PLATE XC
Mealy Redpole
Twite
 
Parrot Crossbill
PLATE XCIII
Parrot Crossbill
Rose-coloured Pastor
PLATE XCV
Rose-coloured Pastor
Wheatears
PLATE CXIII*
Black-throated Wheatear
Isabelline Wheatear
Desert Wheatear
Wheatear, Grasshopper Warbler
PLATE CXIV
Wheatear
Grasshopper Warbler
$39.95
Aquatic Warbler
PLATE CXVII*
Aquatic Warbler
Thrush Nightingale
CXIX
Thrush Nightingale
Firecrest, Yellow-browed Warbler
CXXXIII
Firecrest
Yellow-browed Warbler
$39.95
Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove
CXXXIV
Wood Pigeon
Stock Dove
$39.95
note the printing flaw to left of upper egg
Rock Dove, Turtle Dove
CXXXV
Rock Dove
Turtle Dove
 
Passenger Pigeon
CXXXVI
Passenger Pigeon
{EXTINCT}
note the printing flaws: above and to right of egg; also a white scratch above title
Capercaillie
CXXXVIII
Capercaillie
$39.95
Black Grouse
CXXXIX
Black Grouse
$39.95
Sand Grouse
CXLI
Sand Grouse
$39.95
Partridge, Red-legged Partridge
CXLII
Partridge, Red-legged Partridge
$39.95
Andalusian Quail
CXLV
Andalusian Quail
$39.95
Great Bustard
CXLVI
Great Bustard
$39.95

              

We also have many of Rev. F.O. Morris' birds.

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