Francois Levaillant / Jacques Barraband - Histoire Naturelle des Perroquets - 1801

Francois Levaillant / Jacques Barraband - Histoire Naturelle des Perroquets - 1801
Ornithology - Quantity: 2 - Single sheet

From the first edition in folio format of the "Histoire Naturelle des Perroquets" by F. Levaillant, one of the rarest and most beautiful works by Levaillant, 2 excellently preserved hand-coloured copper engravings by J. Barraband are offered.
Both illustrations are also shown enlarged to better show details and colours.

1) Perruche à tete bleue, dans sonye age, plate 26: 53 x 34cm, untrimmed.
This bird occurs in its species in several colour variations, which also led to incorrect classifications in the past. Buffon, for example, assigns the same bird in different colourings to different species.
2) La Perruche souffré, plate 43: 54 x 35cm, untrimmed.
Levaillant describes this bird as a "Schwefelsittich" (sulphur-winged parakeet) because of its completely sulphur-yellow plumage. This species, which learns to speak very well, was often brought to Europe.
Plate size for both engravings 33 x 26cm.

Jacques Barraband’s ornithological engravings are masterpieces of French ornithological illustration. The stunning bird portraits were made for the renowned ornithologist Francois Levaillant, who commissioned the artist to illustrate his groundbreaking works on African ornithology, including the elaborate and impressive “Histoire Naturelle des Perroquets”.
Each table of the work is richly coloured and immaculately reproduced. The project was a huge undertaking that required more than 300 finished watercolours. These meticulous hand-coloured engravings in Levaillant’s publications were second to none in terms of the delicate modulations of tone and colour, the fine lines and the perfect drawing art. Each feather is drawn with dozens of parallel lines, resulting in remarkable detail and a naturalistically textured colour.
Copper engravings in this excellent quality and condition are very rare in the trade and can only be acquired at high prices (see photo of a USA seller with the female Perruche à tete bleue, plate 25).

Lot details
Single sheet
Number of Books
Author/ Illustrator
Francois Levaillant / Jacques Barraband
Book Title
Histoire Naturelle des Perroquets
Publication year oldest item
1st Edition Thus
Original language
Paris, Levrault frères
Binding/ Material
Loose page
Number of pages
53×34 cm
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