Title: Polytelis Alexandrae
Artist: John Gould (1804 - 1881)
Technique: Lithograph with original hand colouring.
An original hand coloured lithograph of the Princess Parrot, from the original edition of the 'Supplement' of The Birds of Australia by John Gould.
In embarking on this monumental endeavour, John Gould printed 600 lithographs between the years 1848 to 1860 which then completed his work on the ornithology of Australia. He had sold these lithographs on a subscription basis over the extraordinary period of twelve years. His loyal two hundred and fifty subscribers regularly paid and received approximately seventeen lithographs every two months, until they had received all 600.
Soon after the completion of the series, Gould began to receive further new species from collectors and dealers from the newly opened up areas of Australia, such as remote northern Queensland and Western Australia and central Australia. It began apparent to Gould that he had to issue further lithographs, which published in 1869 a single supplement volume comprising approximately eighty lithographs of new birds previously unknown to the world of ornithology. Quiet a few of his subscribers did not take up these further lithographs due to deaths, changed financial circumstances or no further interest in the project.
Consequently the lithographs from 'Supplement" are much rarer then the ones issued during 1848-1860.