MAGUIRE, Thomas Herbert (1821-1895)
[Ipswich: George Ransome, c. 1850]. Tinted lithograph, octagonal format, signature for title: "Wm. Yarrell"; artist's printed signature: "T. H. Maguire 1849" in image l.l. Printed by M & N. Hanhart. Blind stamped "Ipswich Museum" Image size (including text): 13 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches. Sheet size: 23 3/4 x 17 1/8 inches.
A handsome portrait of the author of "History of British Fishes" and "History of British Birds"
William Yarrell (1784-1856), zoologist and bookseller, is best known as the author of two very popular books: A History of British Fishes, 2 volumes, 1835 and A History of British Birds, 3 volumes, 1843.
Yarrell was born in London. His father and uncle had a book and newspaper shop, which he and his cousin later ran. Yarrell, who was one of 13 children, often left the shop to go fishing or shooting, gradually becoming an accomplished naturalist. He wrote his first book, "On the Occurrence of some Rare British Birds" in 1825 at the age of 40. Many more articles and books followed. He became a Fellow of the Linnean Society and helped found what became the Royal Entomological Society of London. As were most naturalists of the period, he was acquainted and corresponded with other leading natural historians, in particular, Jardine, Selby, Thomas Bewick and Audubon.
Thomas Herbert Maguire (1821-1895) was a British artist, who studied lithography with Richard James Lane. He is best known for the portraits of scientists, primarily naturalists, for which he was commissioned by George Ransome, F. L. S. in connection with the founding of the Ipswich Museum. Ransome gave the portraits as gifts to subscribing members and gave the entire portfolio, which ultimately ran to 60 portraits, to especially important figures, most notably Prince Albert when he visited the museum in 1851.
Maguire brought to portrait making an unusual capacity to capture a person's type and character. His portraits did not try glorify their subject but rather showed their individuality. The subject's renown depended on their accomplishments, which would have been well-known to the observers.