GOULD, John (1804-1881)
Ramphastos osculans. Osculant Toucan [Ramphastos osculans]
[London: by the Author, 1835]. Hand-coloured lithograph by John and Elizabeth Gould, printed by C.Hullmandel. Framed. Sheet size: 21 11/16 x 14 5/16 inches.
A fine image from the first edition of John Gould's 'A Monograph of the Ramphastidae, or Family of Toucans'.
The toucan family is limited to Mexico, Central and South America and some West Indian islands. The first time that any member of the family was described was by Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes in his "de la natural hystoria de las Indias" (Toledo, 1526, chapter 42), in 1555 Pierre Belon included an illustration of its beak in his "L'Histoire de la nature des oyseaux" (Paris, 1555, p.184). Andre Thevet first used the name 'Toucan' with a long description, and a woodcut of a whole bird, in his "Singularitez de la France" (Paris, 1555, pp.88-90). The Latin name "Burhynchus" or "Ramphestes" (in reference to the size of the beak) was suggested by Conrad Gesner ("Icones Avium", 1560, p.130), and Linnaeus later adopted Aldrovandus' corrupted form of the latter ("Ramphastos") which is how the family was still recognized at the time of the publication of the present image.
The present image is from the first edition of Gould's work, published in 1833-1835, which represented the first concerted attempt to produce a monograph on the family. A second expanded edition was published between 1852 and 1854. Gould considered this to be completely separate work as the plates were all re-drawn and the text re-written.
Cf. Anker 170; cf. Fine Bird Books (1990), p. 101; cf. Nissen IVB 378; cf. Sauer 3; cf. Wood p. 364; cf. Zimmer p. 252.