FINE ART INVESTMENTS SINCE 1978
Prideaux John SELBY
Prideaux John Selby FRSE FLS (23 July 1788 – 27 March 1867) was an English ornithologist, botanist and natural history artist.
Selby was born in Bondgate Street in Alnwick in Northumberland, the eldest son of George Selby of Beal and Twizell (d.1804), and his
wife, Margaret Cook. He was educated at Durham School. He studied at University College, Oxford. He succeeded in 1804 to the
family estates at Beal, and added to the landholdings there at a cost of some £14000 in about 1840. He sold the Beal estate amounting
to 1,450 acres (590 ha) in 1850 for £47000 (£5,063,000 at today's prices). He died at Twizell House and was buried in Bamburgh
In 1810 he married Lewis Tabitha Mitford (1782-1859) daughter of Bertram Osbaldeston Mitford (1748-1800) of Dennet's Hall in
Leicester. They had three daughters.
Selby is best known for his "Illustrations of British Ornithology" (1821–1834), the first set of life-sized illustrations of British birds. He
also wrote Illustrations of Ornithology with William Jardine and A History of British Forest-trees (1842).Many of the illustrations in
his works were drawn from specimens in his collection. In addition to the above works he contributed to Jardine's Naturalist's
Library the volumes on the pigeons (1835) and the parrots (1836), the latter illustrated by Edward Lear. He was for some time one of
the editors of the Magazine of Zoology and Botany.His collections were sold in 1885 and became dispersed. The South African birds
collected by Andrew Smith went to the Zoology Museum of the University of Cambridge.The standard author abbreviation P.Selby is
used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.
Title: "Scaup Pochard, Female" (Plate LXVI, 66)
Portfolio: "Illustrations of British Ornithology, Vol. 2 Water Birds"
Year: Originally pub. 1821-1834. Our example here: a later edition c. 1880
Medium: Original Hand-Colored Copperplate Engraving
Sheet size: 22" x 28"
Image size/platemark: 15.75" x 22"