Reed Warbler. John William LEWIN.

Reed Warbler

London: J.H. Bohte, 1822.

Handcoloured engraving, 289 x210mm.; mounted.

The Reed Warbler is an interesting bird, found down Eastern Australia to Victoria and Tasmania, but coming and going mysteriously in the southern parts of its habitat. Besides being a migrant, the Reed Warbler, as its name indicates, is a merry and cheerful songster, not only by day but by night, its song being quite canary-like. The bird's habitat is the sedgy sides of rivers and reeds and rushes of swamps, you cannot always see the birds in such secluded areas, but their presence or arrival can always be ascertained by hearing their loud merry warbles.

The Reed Warbler is an interesting bird, found down Eastern Australia to Victoria and Tasmania, but coming and going mysteriously in the southern parts of its habitat. Besides being a migrant, the Reed Warbler, as its name indicates, is a merry and cheerful songster, not only by day but by night, its song being quite canary-like. The bird's habitat is the sedgy sides of rivers and reeds and rushes of swamps, you cannot always see the birds in such secluded areas, but their presence or arrival can always be ascertained by hearing their loud merry warbles.
John Lewin was Australia's first professional artist, he arrived in the colony in 1800 and established himself as the first natural history artist. He is best remembered through the superb books he published on Australian ornithology and entomology.
As the catalogue of the Wettenhall Library pointed out, "The bibliographical and historical importance of Lewin has been emphasised in recent years, but Lewin the naturalist has been somewhat neglected. Although his illustrations are in the style of the eighteenth century and predate the draughtsmanship, finesse and varied palette developed by the great nineteenth-century illustrators such as Lear, Wolf and Keulemans, they are highly competent and show the mind of an excellent observer. Lewin's birds are correct; the feather detail, legs, particularly the positioning of the toes, posture of the bird, the understanding of male and female plumage, the interactions between male and female (in four plates the male is singing and displaying to the female) are accurate and show a keen observer at work. The other important detail in Lewin's illustrations are the plants: they demonstrate an observer who is familiar with his subject's habitat and life-history."
After Lewin's death in 1819, his widow Anna returned to England, where she set about producing a new edition of her husband's beautiful book, adding an extra eight plates for the new edition, this plate being plate XVIII from Lewin's A Natural History of the Birds of New South Wales published in 1822.

Price (AUD): $3,500.00  other currencies     Ref: #4111695