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A rare mid 19th century coloured lithograph of a group of five Crossbills by the naturalist Captain Thomas Brown (1785-1862). The bottom left hand corner describes each bird.


Scottish, circa 1850


Height: 40.5cm / 16”
Width: 30cm / 11¾"

There are six species of crossbills. These birds are of the genus Loxia within the finch (Fringillidae) family. The adult males tend to be red or orange in colour and the females vary but are normally green or yellow. 

Thomas Brown was a British naturalist and malacologist who was born in Perth in 1785. In 1805 he joined the Forfar and Kincardine Militia and in 1811 he reached the rank of captain. After his regiment was disbanded he followed his interest in nature and edited Oliver Goldsmith’s Animated Nature. In 1818 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and wrote books on natural history. In 1840 he became curator of the Manchester Museum, a post he held for twenty two years.

A Coloured Lithograph of Five Crossbills by Captain Thomas Brown, c.1850

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