GOULD, John (1804-1881)
[Dr. Cabot's Horned Pheasant] Ceriornis caboti
[London: by the Author, 1850-1883]. Hand-coloured lithograph by John Gould and H.C.Richter, printed by Hullmandel & Walton. 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'.
'Among the eminent and liberal men I had the pleasure of becoming acquianted with during my visit to the United States of America in the summer of 1857, was Dr. Cabot of Boston... In his collection were many rarities, some of which especially interested me, but none more so than the remarkable bird represented on the... [present] plate, and which had been received by him from China... I could no other information respecting the bird [other] than that it was from... the neighbourhood of Macao' (Gould).
The intended geographical range of "The Birds of Asia" was enourmous, and very much in keeping with the seemingly limitless self-belief of the 19th-century's best known ornithologist. In his all-encompasing 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.