February 13, 2021 09:00 AM EST Asheville, North Carolina


John Abbot

(British/Georgia, 1751-1840)

Golden crowned Kinglet, Regulus satrapa, circa 1792-1805, numbered in graphite "121" to correspond to Abbot's entry in "Notes on the Birds Continued", watercolor and graphite on laid paper affixed to Chetham Library's volume, bordered paper, original page 11-1/4 x 8-3/4 in., volume page 16-1/8 x 12 in.; silver gilt frame, 19-1/4 x 17 in.

Note: This work by John Abbot comes from a bound copy that was purchased by Chetham's Library (London) in 1792. John Francillon, the artist's agent, was able to sell large groups and single works of art that Abbot painted and drew over the course of his long career. The vast majority were sent to England where the art and science of classification were well established. Abbot's correspondence shows us that he was also sending specimens to collectors and societies of naturalists.  While John Abbot does not share the universal name recognition of his contemporaries, John James Audubon and Alexander Wilson, it is certainly not because he is a lesser talent nor was he any less enthusiastic about the flying and crawling creatures that were his primary subjects. He created his meticulous paintings and drawings for a devoted circle of collectors and produced thousands of works in his lifetime - often replicating those that were requested by more than one collector.  While volumes of his work were not published during his lifetime, Abbot was pivotal in disseminating information about the birds, moths, and insects of his adopted landscape of Virginia and Georgia.  He was born and trained in England, but arrived on colonial shores on the eve of the Revolution in 1773 and made Georgia his home and remained until his death in 1840.


See: John Abbot in Georgia: The Vision of a Naturalist Artist (1751-c.1840)

Provenance:Collection of artist; John Leigh Philips, 1761-1814, Manchester; John Radcliffe, a proprietor and librarian of Chetham Library; Chetham Library, Manchester; Christie's, New York, October 1, 1980, (four volumes), lot 127; Andrew Crawley, Director, Ibarcord Group Fine Arts; Private Collection


some handling grime, light foxing throughout, glue tacked to album page (circa 1792), album page with toning and light foxing; frame with abrasions

Estimate: $4,000 - $6,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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