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HAYES, William.

Portraits of Rare and Curious Birds,

with their Descriptions, from the Menagery of Osterley Park, in the county of Middlesex.

Stock Code
London, Printed By W. Bulmer and Co, and Published for the Author, 1794

A copy of 'one of the most famous, early coloured illustrations of ornithology' (Wood).

In the mid-1780s Hayes went to live at Southall, a short walk from Osterley Park, which had been remodelled by Robert Adam in the 1760s for the Childs banking family. Sarah Child, like the Duchess of Portland, was an enthusiastic collector of exotic bird, as noted by Horace Walpole when he visited Osterley Park in 1773 'the menagerie full of birds that came from a 1000 islands, which Mr Banks has not yet discovered'. The Childs commissioned Hayes to paint portraits of a number of their live birds, as did John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich.

Following the deaths of Montagu and both Robert and Sarah Child, Hayes was left without a patron and in severe financial straits with ten children to support (of the twenty-one he had fathered). He decided to turn the numerous drawings and

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First edition; 4to, (28 x 22 cm); dedication and advertisement leaves, 100 hand-coloured engraved plates after Hayes, his wife and children, without the frontispiece plate (as often), some offsetting to prelims, leaves slightly toned; crushed green morocco gilt by Sangorski and Sutcliffe, spine gilt in compartments with bird motifs, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers, an excellent example.


Fine Bird Books, p80; Nissen IVB 422; Zimmer, p294; Wood p381.

Stock ID:107388

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