A Rare and Wonderful Set of Portraits of the Game and Wild Animals of Southern Africa delineated from life in their native haunts by Captain W. Cornwallis Harris and drawn on stone by Frank Howard and framed 1840. All in very good condition. The Book these came out of made £12400 when sold 12th June 2019 Lot 68.
From one of the rarest of all books dealing with African big game and sport, this monumental presentation depicts wild game of southern Africa as encountered and studied by Harris. The tinted lithographs highlighted in colour by hand are especially lovely, each of the illustrations is also enlivened by scenic backgrounds of the habitat. Harris communicated an account of his travels in Southern Africa to both the Royal Geographical Society of London, and the Geographical Society of Bombay. In 1840 he published the Portraits of Game Animals, the first with pictures drawn by Harris, and reproduced on stone by F. Howard in London. All of the prints are in excellent condition, and each is accompanied by the original text describing the first impressions of the “Cape Colonists” of the particular species pictured in each print.
HOWARD, FRANK (1805?–1866), painter, son of Henry Howard, R.A. [q. v.], was born in Poland Street, London, about 1805. After being educated at Ely he became a pupil of his father and a student of the Royal Academy, and was subsequently an assistant of Sir Thomas Lawrence. He exhibited at the British Institution from 1824 to 1843, his earliest contribution being two subjects from Shakespeare. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1825, when he sent 'Othello and Desdemona' and three portraits, and he continued to exhibit portraits and Shakespearean and poetical subjects until 1833. In 1827 he commenced the publication of a series of clever outline plates, entitled 'The Spirit of the Plays of Shakespeare,' which was completed in five quarto volumes in 1833. After the death of Lawrence he began to paint small-sized portraits, and to make designs for goldsmith's work for Messrs. Storr & Mortimer. In 1839 he exhibited again at the Academy, and in 1842 he sent 'The Adoration of the Magi,' 'Suffer little Children to come unto Me,' and 'The Rescue of Cymbeline.' He contributed in the same year to the British Institution 'Spenser's Faerie Queene, containing Portraits of Queen Elizabeth and her Court.' In 1843 he sent three cartoons to Westminster Hall in competition for the prizes offered in connection with the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament, and for one, 'Una coming to seek the assistance of Gloriana,' an allegory of the reformed religion seeking the aid of England, suggested by Spenser's 'Faerie Queene,' he was awarded one of the extra prizes of 100l. The other cartoons were 'The Introduction of Christianity into England' and 'Bruce's Escape on the Retreat from Dairy.' He did not compete in 1844, but in 1845 he sent 'The Baptism of Ethelbert' and 'The Spirit of Chivalry,' and in 1847 'The Night Surprise of Cardiff Castle by Ivor Bach;' but this work did not add to his reputation. About the same time he removed to Liverpool, where he earned during the remainder of his life a precarious livelihood by painting and teaching drawing, as well as by lecturing on art and writing dramatic articles in a local newspaper. He wrote some books on art, the first of which, 'The Sketcher's Manual,' published in 1837, went through several editions. It was followed by 'Colour as a Means of Art,' 1838, 'The Science of Drawing,' 1839-40, and 'Imitative Art,' 1840. He likewise edited Byres's 'Hypogæi, or Sepulchral Caverns of Tarquinia,' 1842, folio, and, with a memoir, his father's 'Course of Lectures on Painting,' 1848. He also drew on stone the plates for Sir William C. Harris's 'Portraits of the Game and Wild Animals of Southern Africa,' 1840, and made some designs for church and memorial windows for 'The St. Helen's Crown Glass Company's Trade Book of Patterns for Ornamental Window Glass,' 1850.
Sir William Cornwallis Harris (1807-1848) was the epitome of the "Great White Hunter." After graduating military college, he was appointed to the Bombay headquarters at sixteen years of age. A series of promotions and consequent locational changes brought Harris, en route to a new post, to the Cape of Good Hope, where he was detained for two years by a medical board. On the voyage, Marris had befriended the avid hunter Richard Williamson of the Bombay civil establishment, and the two had arranged an expedition into the interior in quest of big game. At the time, South Africa had attracted Europe's attention owing to the Dutch colonists' exodus. For years, there had been dangerous encounters with the fierce Zulu tribes of "Dingaan," in present-day central Natal, South Africa.
After conferring with the noted African naturalist, Dr. Andrew Smith who had just returned from the interior, both Harris and Williamson headed northeasterly from Algoa Bay, Cape Province. Following the Orange River through Basutoland, they finally encountered the kraals of the famous Matabelechief "Moselikatze." Through the chief's help, they returned to the colony via a new and previously closed route. Their safari, which lasted almost two years, allowed them to encounter a great variety of large game in new territories.