Folio, (9 ½ x 14 ¾ inches). Manuscript title page and table of contents in German in blue and red, highlighted in gilt. 178 original watercolors on watercolor paper, some signed, most with integral German text identifying the bird, mounted on thin blue card. Original dark blue half cloth, marbled boards, with title in manuscript in blue, red, and gold on paper label.
A lovely album containing a collection of original watercolors depicting various species of birds. Two of the water colors are signed “G. Rauber,” and all are in the same hand. Most of the watercolors depict a single bird, but a significant number include two or more species or varieties. The watercolors are grouped under eight different headings: “Sänger” (Songbirds), “Finkenvögel” (Finches), “Prachtfinken” (Showy Finches), “Webervögel” (Weaverbirds), “'Papageren und Sittiche” (Parrots and Parakeets), “Hühnervögel” (Chickens), “Schwimmervögel” (Waterbirds), and “Diverses gef Volk” (Miscellaneous). The songbirds feature the Baltimore oriole, the golden oriole, the song thrush, the nightingale, the black cap, the hill mynah, and about 12 others. The finches include the cardinal, the bullfinch, the chaffinch, and about 25 others. The term “showy finches” is slightly misleading, as the birds featured in this section are not finches at all, but rather vividly plumaged birds often found in captivity, such as canaries, and are intermingled with the weaverbirds. The parrots and parakeets section includes the African gray, the macaw, the budgerigar, the parakeet, the cockatoo, and the lovebird. The miscellaneous portion includes a total of 55 watercolors, depicting both exotic species as well as the more common blue jay, swan, and jackdaw.