The five examples of Edward Lear’s imaginary bird pictures in this sale (lots 245-249) are early instances of his work, which Robert McCracken Peck has dated to 1827-1830. They are typical of the Lear’s work during this period, in which his subjects are based on familiar species, such as the hoopoe, toucan and swallow, but are then enhanced by his imaginative take on aspects such as colours, feather patterns and habitats.
The Strachey family were deeply influential in helping shape and preserve Lear’s legacy. They were close friends and published various publications on the artist between 1888 and 1911.
We are grateful to Robert McCracken Peck for his help cataloguing this work. For further information, see Robert McCracken Peck, The Natural History of Edward Lear (Princeton University Press, 2021).
Lady Strachey, Sutton Court;
And by descent