Red-billed emerald hummingbird, by John Gould, 1861
Red-billed emerald hummingbird (Chlorostilbon gibsoni) from ‘A monograph of the Trochilidae, or family of humming-birds’, Volume 5 (1861), by John Gould.
John Gould (1804 – 1881) was an English ornithologist and bird artist. He published a number of monographs on birds, illustrated by plates that he produced with the assistance of his wife, Elizabeth Gould, and other artists including Edward Lear. ‘A monograph of the Trochilidae, or family of humming-birds’, took 12 years to produce and was issued from 1849 to 1861, in 5 volumes, illustrated with 360 plates. The birds were drawn from his collection of over 300 specimens; he didn’t see a live hummingbird until 1857 during a trip to the USA. His collection of stuffed hummingbirds was displayed at the Great Exhibition in 1851, unfortunately prompting a craze for hummingbird feathers in Victorian fashions. However, the work of Gould and other artists was also instrumental in creating a more enlightened approach towards conservation rather than exploitation.
The earring pendants are stainless steel, and the glass cabochon measures 18 x 13mm. All earrings have sterling silver hooks and come in a sturdy card gift box.