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). 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. He died at Twizell House and was buried in Bamburgh churchyard.
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.
Title: "Gooseander, Female" (Plate: LVII - 57)
Portfolio: Illustrations of British Ornithology, Vol. 2 Water Birds
Medium: Original Hand-Colored Etching and Engraving
Sheet size: 20.5" x 26"
Image size/platemark: 18.88" x 22.88"