Artefact of the month - December 2009
Felis caudata Plate 34 in A monograph of the Felidae, or family of cats, by Daniel Giraud Elliot. [London] : published by the author, 1883
Season's greetings! This month to celebrate we are featuring this stunning, seasonal, wintery scene depicting a wild cat. The image is a lithograph in this beautiful book illustrated by Joseph Wolf and Joseph Smit.
Daniel Giraud Elliot (1835-1915) was independently wealthy, he wrote and published a number of sumptuous folio monographs towards the end of the nineteenth century. He was Curator of Zoology at the Field Museum in Chicago and co-founder of the American Ornithologists’ Union. Many of these featured lithographic plates by Wolf and Smit. The books are listed in our online catalogue . If you would like to visit the Library to look any Elliot’s monographs please make an appointment by telephoning 020 7449 6293 or email email@example.com
For details about Joseph Wolf please see Artefact of the month - September 2009 Joseph Wolf and Joseph Smit collaborated on many bird and mammal books together. Philip Lutley Sclater, Secretary of the Zoological Society invited Joseph Smit to do paintings and lithographs for his Exotic Ornithology which was published in 1866-69. Smit and his family moved to England in 1866 and settled in London. According to Christine Jackson in Dictionary of bird artists of the world, throughout his life he worked on at least 300 plates in 15 major bird titles, as well as plates for Transactions and Proceedings of the Zoological Society
The cat depicted is now a recognised subspecies of the wildcat, Felis silvestris caudata. Elliot notes that this particular specimen was received by the British Museum from Bokhara, Turkestan and first described by J. E. Gray in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society in 1874.
Please note that ZSL Library will close on Wednesday 23 December and reopen on Monday 4 January 2010.
Visting the Library
If you are a member of ZSL, please bring your ZSL membership card when visiting the Library. If you are not a member you will need to show proof of address and photographic ID.
Although much of the Library is open access, an appointment is needed to view historic books. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment or telephone 02074496293