1785 John Latham - Synopsis - HARLEQUIN HUMMING BIRD Ornithology - hand coloured
Ornithological study, described here as the Harlequin hummingbird and elsewhere as Troquilus multicolour. The original specimen in the British Museum was later considered a composite or fabricated bird. Here, the creature is posed on the twig of a tree.
Beautiful engraving in fine original hand colour from Latham’s scarce A General Synopsis of Birds 1785.
In GOOD CONDITION without the usual offsetting. On fine laid paper (last image shows paper texture under a light tray). Very light age spotting.
John Latham (27 June 1740 – 4 February 1837) was an English physician, naturalist and author. His main works were A General Synopsis of Birds (1781–1801) and General History of Birds (1821–1828). He was able to examine specimens of Australian birds which reached England in the last twenty years of the 18th century, and was responsible for naming many of them. These included the emu, sulphur-crested cockatoo, wedge-tailed eagle, superb lyrebird and Australian magpie. He was also the first to describe the hyacinth macaw. Latham has been called the "grandfather" of Australian ornithology.