A natural history of birds. Illustrated with two hundred and five copper plates, curiously engraven from the life. Published by the author Eleazar Albin, and carefully colour'd by his daughter and self, from the originals, drawn from the live birds. 3 vols. London: Printed for the author and sold by W. Innys & R. Manby, 1731 – 1738.
This was the first English bird book issued with hand-colored plates, colored by Albin and his daughter Elizabeth. "For the most part Albin delineated one bird per plate. The birds are placed on a branch or on the ground, each part coloured. The proportions of the birds are a distinct improvment on those in Willoughby and Ray... Albin produced his paints in a rather strange manner according to Petiver’s account. For his reds he washed and dried vermilion pigment in four waters and then proceeded to “grind it in boys urine three times, yn [then] gum arabic it and grind it in Brandy wine.” Whatever his methods and however singular the contribution by his sons, this very first effort at colouring plates depicting birds is highly commendable and the results were gratifying, for the book was popular." (Jackson, Bird Etchings).
From 1738 to 1740 Albin published a second issue of this work with the plates apparently colored entirely by himself, as those title pages read, "exactly colour'd by the Author" instead of "carefully colour'd by his daughter and self."
Digital facsimile from Biodiversity Heritage Library at this link.
Subjects: ZOOLOGY › Illustration, ZOOLOGY › Ornithology