Click main image below to view enlargements and captions.

Natural History Art, Birds, Female Summer Duck of Georgia, Antique Watercolor

$1,500

Female Summer Duck of Georgia: Anas [Sponsa]
American or British: Late 18th Century
Watercolor on laid paper
Titled lower margin
13 x 12 inches, overall
14.75 x 13.5 inches, frame
$1,500

A charming watercolor natural history painting of a female wood duck standing on a small island of grass surrounded by water. It is painted in a somewhat na├»ve style, with the duck’s distinctive patterned beak and blue and brown feathers rendered as bold shapes with some general indication of the different textures. The painting is outlined with a thin brown border. The title is imprinted at the bottom with what appears to be letterpress type. It is mounted in a vintage wood frame.

Product Description Continues Below

Description

The type of laid paper on which it is painted, as well as the style of execution, indicate that the watercolor was executed in the late 18th century. This would have been after the duck was given the scientific name Anas sponsa by Linnaeus in 1758 (incorrectly spelled “Spousa” on the painting itself ).

The Summer Duck is known as Aix sponsa under modern nomenclature. According to the Audubon Society, by the turn of the 19th century the wood duck was on the brink of extinction, but today is a “poster child for waterbird conservation efforts.” Today, the wood duck is the most common duck in the state of Georgia and, as it was in Audubon’s day, still popularly known as the “summer duck” because it remains throughout the summer after other duck species have migrated north.

Condition: Generally good overall with the usual overall toning, wear, handling. Minor scattered pale foxing. Small chip lower left margin tipped in and filled in manuscript lower left, some short tears restored, some creases reinforced verso, all by professional restorer. Some pale old cello tape stains showing through to front from former restorations on back, now deacidified and stabilized.

References:

Kirby, Daryl. “Georgia: A Wonderland for Wood Ducks.” Georgia Outdoor News. January 2006. http://www.gon.com/article.php?id=86 (24 July 2013).

“Wood Duck (Aix sponsa).” National Audubon Society. 2013. http://birds.audubon.org/species/wooduc (24 July 2013).

Additional information

Century

18th C. Birds