Bird Illustration in the 19th Century

November 5, 2011 | Kathryn

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The Toronto Reference Library houses the famous double-elephant folio edition of John James Audubon’s Birds of America, and a collection of water colours by William Pope.  In the Special Collections Centre (4th floor), you will find other 19th century ornithology books with many beautiful coloured illustrations like the ones featured on this page.


1. Californian Woodpecker

2. Crested Dominican Cardinal



3. Goldfinch



4. Pereguin Falcon



5. Snowy Owl


1.  Illustrations of the birds of California, Texas, Oregon, British and Russian America / by John Cassin, 1856

 2. A monograph of the weaverbirds, ploceidae, and arboreal and terrestrial finches, fringillidae / by Edward Bartlett, 1889

 3. Familiar wild birds / by W. Swaysland, 1883-1888

 4. Coloured illustrations of British birds and their eggs / by H. L. Meyer, 1842-1847

 5. Coloured figures of the birds of the British Islands / by Lord Thomas Lilford,  1891-1897