Penang Sun-bird – Nectarinia (..) – Hongingzuiger ; John Gould – 1850-1883

John Gould (1804 – 1881) / Henry Constantine Richter (1821–1902).

Beautiful coloured print of two Penang Sun-birds from John Gould’s famous work ‘Birds of Asia’.

Prachtig gekleurde prent van twee Penang hongingzuigers uit John Gould’s beroemde werk ‘Birds of Asia’.


1 in stock



  • Type: natural history print, ornithology
  • Title: Nectarinia Insignis. Plate 25
  • Technique: lithograph, contemporary coloured
  • Illustrator: John Gould / Henry Constantine Richter
  • Lithographer: Henry Constantine Richter
  • Author: John Gould
  • Date: 1850-1883
  • Published in Volume 02 of: Birds of Asia by John Gould in London
  • Printer: Hullmandel & Walton / Walter & Cohn
  • 56.0 x 39.0 cm (22.0 x 15.4 inches)
  • Verso: blank
  • 0940c V
  • Source: Nissen 368 / Birds of Asia (

Condition: A

Very good, given age. General age-related toning. Bright coloring on slightly tanned paper.

Zeer goed, gegeven de leeftijd. Heldere kleuring op licht gebruind papier.


John Gould (1804 – 1881)

John Gould was an English ornithologist and bird artist. He published a number of monographs on birds, illustrated by plates that he produced with the assistance of his wife, Elizabeth Gould, and several other artists including Edward Lear and Henry Constantine Richter. In 1824 he set himself up in business in London as a taxidermist, and his skill helped him to become the first Curator and Preserver at the museum of the Zoological Society of London in 1827. Gould’s position brought him into contact with the country’s leading naturalists. This meant that he was often the first to see new collections of birds given to the Zoological Society of London. In 1830 a collection of birds arrived from the Himalayas, many not previously described. Gould published these birds in A Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains (1830–1832). This work was followed by Birds of Europe in five volumes (1837); The books were published in a very large size, imperial folio, with magnificent coloured plates. Eventually 41 of these volumes were published, with about 3000 plates. Gould succeeded in making his ventures pay, realising a fortune.

Gould’s well-deserved reputation as the most respected publisher of 19th century ornithological texts owes much to his extraordinary ability to recognize, recruit and direct great talent. Without a doubt, Gould was the right man in the right time. In the not-to-distant future, photographic reproduction would forever change publishing and cause the demise of these superb hand-colored works. The lavish production of the published image had reached its zenith in the late 1800s and Birds of Great Britain is one of the very last of such fine works. In every aspect, quality ruled the day. Printing had become far advanced and fine paper of large dimension was plentiful. Vibrant new colors and aniline dyes replaced the unstable, fragile and sometimes toxic colors of bygone days. At one time or another, the finest ornithological artists of the day worked for and with him, some for much of their professional lives. These included Edward Lear, W. M. Hart, H. C. Richter and Joseph Wolf, whom some consider the finest artist of his age. Wolf contributed 57 drawings to Birds of Great Britain.