18th century watercolour of an Ostrich

18th century watercolour of an Ostrich
Circa 1740
A very rare watercolour on paper by George Edwards (1694 - 1773) entitled 'Struhia Camelus, The Ostrich'.
The title can be seen faintly in the top left hand corner, written in the artists hand.
Housed in a carved gilt-wood frame.

Circa 1740 - 45

Picture size 27cm X 22.5cm. Frame size 42cm X 37cm

The bird is shown in an attractive African landscape, stepping out gracefully against a background of date palms and a mountain range in which one peek has a flat 'table' top.

The great tradition of English ornithological illustration on the grand scale began with Edwards's Natural History of Uncommon Birds and Animals, 4 vols. (London, 1758 - 64), with their almost six hundered coloured plates which won for him the Gold Medal of the Royal Society. The drawings for the work were acquired 'en bloc' in the eighteenth century by the third earl of Bute and are now in the British Museum.

Although drawings by Edwards appear on the market from time to time, fine elaborate drawings such as this are of considerable rarity.


16.54 inches
14.57 inches
2.36 inches
Watercolour on paper

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