Information: Charles Bree was a medical practioner and zoologist, who became a renowned Victorian ornithologist. He specialised in documenting birds that had not been illustrated by the likes of Gould and Meyer.
Bree employed the excellent draughtsman and painter, Benjamin Fawcett. Fawcett knew how to efficiently produce handsome color-prints from woodblocks. The secret of Fawcett's success lay in the fact that he mastered every detail of the printing process, the mixing of the colors and the preparation of the woodblocks, as well as drawing, engraving, and coloring. A fanatic stickler for perfection in his craft, he also trained his staff to eliminate even minute mistakes. (References Nissen. Bestiaries p. 90, Nissen IVB, 136; Anker 59).
Date: Published in London by Groombridge and Sons in 1866. This is a genuine antique print.
Print method: Hand colored wood engraving.
First, an accurate painting of the birds was produced. Then a wooden block was carved to leave high lines in the wood to pick up the ink. The wood block was used with a printing press to produce a black and white print, which was then hand colored. Producing the wooden print blocks required a great deal of skill and time, so the wood used had to be very hard and fine grained otherwise the blocks wore out too quickly. Woods such as pear were therefore preferred.
Condition: Excellent condition. The paper and colors are virtually as fresh as they day the prints were created.
Size: 9.75 by 6 inches (25cm by 15.5cm)
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