GOULD, John (1804-1881)
[Sclater's Monal (Lophophorus sclateri)] Chalcophasis sclateri
[London: by the Author, 1850-1883]. Hand-coloured lithograph by John Gould and William Hart, printed by Walter. Wove paper. (Paper somewhat browned). Sheet size: 14 3/4 x 21 1/2 inches.
A fine image from John Gould's magnificent folio work 'The Birds of Asia'.
'Sclater's Monal occurs in the mountain regions of northern Assam, south-east Tibet, north-east Burma and Yunnan... The first account of the species was published by Jerdon in 1870... Sclater's Monal lives in dense conifer forests with an undergrowth of rhododendrons, up to an altitude of 10,000 feet.' (A.Rutgers Birds of Asia 1969, p.25).
The intended geographical range of "The Birds of Asia" was enormous, and very much in keeping with the seemingly limitless self-belief of the 19th-century's best known ornithologist. In his all-encompassing work John Gould includes species from all corners of the eastern world, as Richard Bowdler Sharpe noted the work covers "Species from Palestine to the eastward, and from the Moluccas to the west". Gould chose to record the bird life from an area which, with the exception of the tropical areas of the American continent, includes the widest, and most colourful variety of bird life to be found anywhere in the world.
The present plate is from a large number of images documenting the pheasants of the region, one of the most beautiful and varied of all bird families.
Cf. Anker 178; cf. Fine Bird Books (1990), p.102; cf. Nissen IVB 368; cf. Sauer 17; cf. Wood p. 365; cf. Zimmer p.258.