William Lewin “77. “Grey Linnet.” Prints from The Birds of Great Britain, Systematically Arranged, Accurately Engraved, and Painted from Nature…. London, 1795-1801. Second edition. Quarto. Etchings by William Lewin, and his sons Thomas, Thomas William, and John William. Original hand coloring. Excellent condition.
The demand for Lewin’s fine work from Birds of Great Britain, combined with the limits imposed by his having done its plates all by watercolor, led him in 1793 to begin a second edition of etched plates, allowing for relatively more copies to be published. Lewin, who was reaching the end of his life, was joined in this project by his three talented sons, all of whose work is credited individually on the separate plates. The result of this wonderful family enterprise is a series of winning and refined images, with each bird posed on a summary branch and often caught in a naturalistic, active pose. These are charming reminders of the wealth of activity during this exciting period of natural history.