Daniel Giraud Elliot

7 March 1835 – 22 December 1915

Zoologist and ornithologist, commissioning the greatest bird artwork since Audubon

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

Elliot was intrigued by the appearance and behaviour of pheasants and his collection Monograph of the Phasianidae or Family of Pheasants is considered the highest achievement of his career.

In each study, the specimen is placed in its natural habitat, to show to full effect the brilliant splendour of its plumage. Author of Fine Bird Books Sacheverell Sitwell said that these prints were of “the same rank as Audubon and Edward Lear”.

Each original lithograph was completely hand-colored and printed on an imperial folio size sheet. The magnificent size and beautiful colouring of the plates clearly demonstrates the importance which Elliot attached to the pheasant family.

Of all the families in the ornithological system, Elliot regarded the pheasant family as the one most vital to the human race, writing: “containing within it the species that afford food for thousands of mankind, and also those which are the original source of all the domestic poultry met with throughout the civilized world.”

This complete collection includes 81 giclée prints, a title page, a content page, a  Solander box and a Certificate of Authenticity.

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.

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. 

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.”

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. 

Working with artists Wolf and Smit, and colorist JD White, Elliot brought together 36 hand-colored lithographic plates showing the dramatic and beautiful plumage of Birds of Paradise.

Commenting on this collection, author of The Art of Natural History, Peter Dance said: “The plates in this work, almost as magnificent as the birds they portray, were the fruits of Elliot’s considerable wealth, Wolf’s great artistry and both men’s profound knowledge and love of birds.”

This beautiful collection, A Monograph of the Paradiseidae or Birds of Paradise, includes some of the most acclaimed bird illustrations ever created with each bird’s dramatic plumage enhanced by its natural habitat.

A complete set includes 36 giclée prints, a title page, a content page, a Solander box and a Certificate if Authenticity.

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.

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. 

Elliot’s second major work, A Monograph of the Tetraoninae or Family of Grouse, was issued in five parts between 1864 and 1865, then issued as a bound volume in 1865.

The collection includes 25 plates by Joseph Wolf plus a further two plates depicting eggs, drawn by William S. Morgan.

Complete set

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

A complete set of Family of Grouse consists of 27 giclée prints, a title page, a content page, a Solander box and a certificate of Authenticity.

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.

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. 

Elliot chose to work with illustrator Paul Louis Oudart on this collection, but Oudart died after completing only four plates.

Rather than search for another artist, Elliot created the majority of the remaining drawings for A Monograph of the Pittidae or Family of the Ant Thrushes himself.

In the preface, Elliot described how he “felt compelled to turn draughtsman”.

As a result, this collection has particular importance and is often regarded as the pinnacle of Elliot’s artistic work. It includes 31 plates, 24 by Elliot, four by Oudart, and one each from E Maubert, A Mesnel and one unsigned by CP Tholey.

Complete set

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

A complete set of Family of the Ant Thrushes includes 31 giclée prints, a title page, a content page, a Solander box and a Certificate of Authenticity.

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.

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. 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15