British Birds; A Naturalists Sketch Book; British Mammals; Game Birds and Wild Fowl of Great Britain and Ireland,
London, Longnan Green and Co, 1915-1923
It was perhaps from his father (the miniaturist Robert Thorburn A.R.A.), that Archibald Thorburn acquired the ability to create his minutely detailed paintings and he sketched from a very early age. He painted birds, animals and flowers but specialised in the study of game birds. Thorburn first exhibited at the Royal Academy at the age of 20, and was a regular figure there throughout the 1880s and 1890s. Latterly he became disillusioned with the Academy and exhibited instead at Baird Carter, in Jermyn Street. He was also sufficiently highly-regarded by his contemporaries to have been asked to paint Queen Victoria on three separate occasions.
Limited editions; 8 vols; large 4to ( 40 x 33 cm) British Birds, (4 vols) numbered 63/105 with 82 plates (including the rare supplement containing 2 extra plates numbered 80a and b, bound in to the rear of volume 4), ; A Naturalists Sketch Book, numbered 66/105 with 24 colour and 36 collotype plates; British Mammals, (2 vols) numbered 146/155 with 50 colour plates , text vignettes; Game Birds and Wild Fowl of Great Britain and Ireland, numbered 85/155 with 30 colour plates, all the colour plates are mounted on card, all captioned and numbered, tissues, letter from Sangorski and Sutcliffe re binding inserted loose, slight spotting to a couple of title-pages; all vols are uniformly bound in contemporary red half morocco gilt with raised bands, gilt lettered and dated on spines, top edge gilt, Game Bird volume slightly faded on upper board; overall an excellent set.
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