Benjamin Fawcett. “Smew.” From Francis Orpen Morris’ History of British Birds. London: J.C. Nimmo, 1891. Ca. 6 x 10. Wood engraving by Alexander Francis Lydon. Printed by Benjamin Fawcett. Original hand color. Very good condition.
A lovely print drawn by Benjamin Fawcett from F.O. Morris’ History of British Birds. Fawcett was an important British artist, engraver and woodblock printer from Yorkshire. About 1848, he approached fellow Yorkshireman Francis Orpen Morris, a popular writer of natural history, to produce text for a volume on British birds. The work was first issued in parts from 1850 to 1857, and when completed included 358 prints of birds of Great Britian. The work proved extremely popular and as a result Fawcett had to move to larger quarters. A team of women hand colored each plate, under the close supervision of his wife, Martha Porter Fawcett, a colorist herself. The prints were engraved by Alexander Francis Lydon, a former apprentice to Fawcett. This prints is from the third edition issued in 1891.