The Birds of Australia
The Birds of Australia Vol. I-VII
Published in seven volumes, The Birds of Australia is regarded as one of Gould’s greatest works.
Depicting 681 species it was considered the first complete survey of the birds of Australia with 328 new species introduced by Gould.
John and Elizabeth travelled to Australia in 1838 and spent almost two years collecting species for the work. Elizabeth created the illustrations for 84 plates but died in 1841 before the project was completed.
The majority (595) of the remaining plates were produced by the English zoological illustrator HC Richter who completed the illustrations based on Elizabeth’s early sketches.
A further plate was completed by Edward Lear and one by the English natural history artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins.
250 sets were printed and complete sets of the original volume recently sold at auction for over A$350,000.
Own your own collection
We are delighted to give you the opportunity to own your own Gould collection, created directly from the original editions of these acclaimed masterpieces.
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 this extraordinary collection.
A complete set of vol 1 includes:
- 1 title page
- 1 content page
- 36 prints after the hand-colored originals
- handcrafted Solander Box embossed with gold lettering.
- certificate of authenticity
Publication: The Birds of Australia
Author: John Gould (1804-1881)
Print artist: John Gould, Elizabeth Gould, Edward Lear, Waterhouse Hawkins, H.C. Richter
Published: London, 1848
A complete set includes:
1 title page
1 content page with all titles of the prints
all prints from one volume, after hand-colored lithographs
Certificate of authenticity
- Volume I: 36 prints – birds of prey
- Volume II: 104 prints – frogmouths, swallows, swifts, amartins, bee-eaters, pardalotes, crow shrikes, fly-catchers, kingfishers
- Volume III: 97 prints – robins, wrens, finches
- Volume IV: 104 prints – pittas, bower birds, wttle birds, honeyeaters, sunbirds, cuchoos, tree creepers
- Volume V: 92 prints – parrots, pigeons, cachatoos, quail
- Volume VI: 83 prints – emu, kiwi, plover pewit, dottrel, stilt, sandpiper, snipe, curlew, ibis, crane, spoonbill, heron
- Volume VII: 85 prints – geese, ducks, gulls, terns, noddies, albatross, petrels, cormorants, gannets, penguins
- Supplement: 83 prints – Illustrated New Zealand birds include : plate 2, Wekau; plate 57 Kakapo; plate 58, Ka-Ka parrot; plate 60, Kea parrot; plate 76, Notornis.
Casing: The complete set (one volume) 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: 22 x 15 inches (56 x 38 cm).
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 and 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.
Shipping and delivery: Read more about shipping and delivery in our FAQ .
Often referred to as the ‘father of bird study in Australia’, the English ornithologist John Gould created several esteemed collections of bird illustrations over his long career. He was the most prolific artist and publisher of ornithological subjects of all time.
In nineteenth century Europe Gould’s name was as well known as Audubon’s was in North America. But unlike Audubon, whose life’s work focused on one region, Gould traveled widely and employed other artists to help create his lavish hand-colored lithographic folios.
Nearly 3,000 lithographs were created during the span of his long career.
Although he was not the artist of the illustrations within his collections, it was Gould’s vision, dedication and supervision that led to the production of so many important works.
During his career he carefully documented birds and habitats in a range of environments from Australia to the Himalayas.
Born in Lyme Regis, West Dorset, Gould followed in his father’s footsteps to become a gardener. He secured a position as foreman in the Royal Gardens of Windsor in 1818.
Following his training at Windsor from 1818 to 1824, Gould later became a gardener at Ripley Castle in Yorkshire. Alongside his garden duties, Gould developed a passion for taxidermy – establishing his own taxidermist business in London.
Perhaps his most notable commission was for the stuffing of a pet giraffe for King George IV in 1826.
In 1827, Gould’s expertise gained him a role at the Zoological Society of London as the museum’s first curator and preserver. This position gave Gould access to several of Europe’s leading naturalists and he was often among the first to see the exotic new collections of birds given to the society.
Following the arrival of a collection of exotic bird skins from the Himalayas in 1830, Gould began the first of his monograph collections.
The book A Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains, gained instant popularity and Gould followed this success with collections on the birds of Europe, Asia, Australia and New Guinea. He also created volumes dedicated to toucans, hummingbirds, birds-of-paradise and in a departure from feathered creatures; kangaroos.
Although he did not create the artwork for his collections himself, Gould worked with several established artists including his wife Elizabeth Gould, the poet and illustrator Edward Lear and German artist Joseph Wolf.
A notable point in Gould’s career came when he provided his expertise and guidance to Charles Darwin. In 1837, having returned from his second voyage aboard HMS Beagle, Darwin presented the mammal and bird specimens collected during his trip to the Zoological Society of London.
Gould was given the responsibility of identifying the birds which would later become known as ‘Darwin’s finches’. Gould’s knowledge provided vital information that helped Darwin develop his theory of evolution.
Over his lifetime, Gould created over 40 volumes of work, with over 3,000 colored plates, providing amazing insights into previously undiscovered species. He continued to work up until his death in 1881.
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 50/50 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
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.
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.
Gould - The Birds of Australia - View prints below
Heritage Prints has a master copy of many images. But we do not have every certified facsimile giclee print in stock.
If you cannot find a specific work on our website, please contact us directly and we will start the rigorous process of printing your individual facsimile.
Gould Australia Vol 1 001 Wedge-tailed Eagle$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 002 Little Australian Eagle$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 003 White-Bellied Sea Eagle$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 004 White-breasted Sea Eagle$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 005 Whistling Eagle$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 006 White-headed Osprey$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 007 Grey Falcon$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 008 Black-cheeked Falcon$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 009 Black Falcon$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 010 White-fronted Falcon$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 011 Brown Hawk$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 012 Western Brown Hawk$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 013 Nankeen Kestril$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 014 New Holland Goshawk$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 015 White Goshawk$ 149.00
Gould Australia Vol 1 016 Radiated Goshawk$ 149.00