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Daniel Giraud Elliot

Family of the Hornbills

Complete set

Family of the Hornbills

Elliot acknowledged that the Hornbill was perhaps not the most attractive bird species, yet he still found its appearance fascinating, writing:

“The very peculiar appearance of the majority of the birds contained in this volume, as well as the extraordinary habits and structure common to all, which make them to differ from other feathered creatures, together with the generally meagre accounts of many of the species, only to be met with by searching numerous publications, were the chief reasons that induced me to select this family as the subject of my fifth illustrated monograph.”

The collection includes 60 lithographic plates comprising 57 plates by John Gerrard Keulemans, plus three uncolored plates by Joseph Smit.

Own your own collection

Our collection gives you the opportunity to own prints created directly from the original editions of Elliot’s acclaimed masterpieces.

A complete set includes: 

  • 1 title page
  • 1 content page
  • 60 prints after the hand-colored originals
  • 1 handcrafted Solander Box embossed with gold lettering. 
  • A certificate of authenticity

Publication: A monograph of the Bucerotidae or Family of the Hornbills

Author: Daniel Giraud Elliot (1835-1915)

Print Artist: Joseph Gerrard Keulemans and J. Smit

Publication date: 1877-1882

A complete set includes: 
1 title page
1 content page with all titles of the prints
60 prints: 57 after the hand-colored originals of J.G. Keulemans and 3 plain by J. Smit
Solander box
Certificate of authenticity

Casing: The complete set will be cased in an elegant handcrafted Solander Box covered in special linen embossed with golden lettering.

You may choose your own color of the boxes and your own lettering.

Size of the prints: 11.2 x 14.8 inches (28.4 x 37.5 cm)

Source of the original: Teylers Museum Haarlem

Durability: To ensure the durability, the giclée’s are printed on acid-free white etching paper (270 g/m2) with archival ink.

Quality: These prints were  photographed using the latest technology, with a color-checker color matched to the original illustration and then reproduced at the original plate size. Printed in the highest possible resolution, these prints are virtually indistinguishable from the originals when glazed and framed.

Limited Edition: The edition will be limited to 50 sets, numbered 1/50 to 50/50, signed and stamped with a blind embossing.

Delivery time: Because the Solander box will be made on demand by a professional bookbinder please allow a delivery time of 3-4 weeks.

With a deep passion for natural history, and founder of the American Ornithological Union, Elliot is an important figure in the world of ornithological art.

Born in New York, Elliot later moved to Chicago where he became curator of zoology at the city’s Field Museum of Natural History. He was also one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Although he had artistic skills himself, Elliot recognised his own limitations and preferred to commission other artists to bring his ideas to life. Elliot’s collections therefore are created mainly from the work he commissioned from others.

Traveling through Europe and Asia

As a young man, Elliot travelled through Europe and Asia in pursuit of new bird and animal species. He often spent several years away from home at a time, studying and collecting his specimens.

With great personal wealth, Elliot had the resources to commission large, extravagant works of art at a time when many publishers were opting for smaller formats and less-expensive color techniques. As a result, Elliot’s exquisite and dramatic pieces stand apart from the other ornithological works of the late 1800s.

Influenced by Audubon

Elliot’s work is often compared to the great naturalist and artist John James Audubon. Indeed, Elliot himself alluded to the influence Audubon had on his work, writing in the preface to one of his collections:

“Since the time of Wilson and Audubon, no work has been published upon American Ornithology, containing life-size reproductions of the various species that have been discovered since the labors of those great men were finished… It was, therefore, with the desire to contribute, as might be in my power, towards the elucidation of the comparatively little know species of the Birds of North America, their habits and economy, as well as to render their forms familiar so far as life-size representations of them might serve to do, that I undertook the present publication.”

Joseph Wolf and Joseph Smit

Two artists that Elliot regular worked with were the German artist Joseph Wolf and the Dutch artist Joseph Smit, both of whom had worked for the English ornithologist John Gould.

Elliot’s commissions are distinctive in color and size and often show detailed depictions of birds within their natural habitats.

Elliot died in New York of pneumonia, aged 80. However, his work is still immensely popular today and he is credited for reviving the art of lavish color-plate books on nature.

This is the important first monograph on this widely scattered family of extraordinary birds.

Hornbills are extraordinary not only for their physical appearance but also for their behavior – the most noteworthy shared trait amongst the species is the male’s habit of enclosing the female in the hollow of some tree, firmly fastening her in by a wall of mud, and keeping her close prisoner until the eggs are hatched.

The male will feed the female through a slit in the wall whilst she incubates the eggs. She will only break through the wall of mud and leave the nest once the young have hatched, at which point the wall is rebuilt and remains in place until the young are ready to fly.

Bizarre beauty aptly captured

The bizarre beauty of this species is here aptly captured by Keulemans highly accurate and beautifully observed plates. Keulemans was born in Rotterdam, Holland, in 1842, but worked and lived chiefly in England, working on most of the important ornithological monographs and periodicals published between about 1870 and his death in London in 1912.

A Monograph of the Bucerotidae or Family of the Hornbills includes 60 lithographic plates comprising 57 plates by John Gerrard Keulemans, plus three uncolored plates by Joseph Smit.

Complete set

Our collection gives you the opportunity to own prints created directly from the original editions of Elliot’s acclaimed masterpieces.

Recreated in the large original size that Elliot is known for, each one is printed using fine art digital printing processes, using the highest possible resolution, to create images that are indistinguishable from the originals.

With age-resistant white etching paper and archival ink; the prints are designed to resist fading for 100 years, giving you a lifetime of enjoyment from these beautiful collections.

A complete set of Family of the Hornbills includes 60 giclée prints, a title page, a content page, a  Solander box and a Certificate of Authenticity

Solander Box

When investing in a complete Elliot set, you can also choose our beautiful Solander box as the perfect place to store your collection.

This high-quality box is designed especially for keeping your giclée prints safe and in perfect condition – yet you can still easily look at them whenever you wish.

You will also receive our Certificate of Authenticity. This shows all the details of your artwork and gives you valuable certification if you ever wish to sell or bequeath your collection in the future.

Limited Editions

We know how special it is to own a piece from your favorite artist; a piece that will be a real talking point in your home.

That is why each edition is limited to just 50 prints. These are numbered from 1/50 to 50/50H and are signed and stamped with a blind embossing.

So when you choose prints from Heritage Prints, you know your artwork has been printed with great care and in limited numbers, making it a print only a select few will own

Solander Box

When investing in a complete set, our Solander box is the perfect place to store your collection.

The box is covered with library buckram cloth and is fitted with a card holder to the spine with attaché fasteners.

This elegant, high-quality box is designed especially for keeping your prints safe and in perfect condition – yet you can still easily look at them whenever you wish.

Certification

When you invest in our prints or collections, you will receive a certificate of authenticity.

This provides a lasting record of your artwork and gives you valuable certification if you ever wish to sell or bestow your collection in the future.

Certificate of autenticity and certified Art Giclée Print Heritage Prints

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