Origin: English Period: Mid-Victorian Provenance: Unknown Date: c.1850-70 The Case: Depth: 6” Width: 17” Height: 13.5”
The American wood duck or Carolina duck (Aix sponsa) specimen housed within a sparse naturalistic setting of grasses and branches to a buff paper background, the whole housed in a beautifully crusty glazed display case with remnants of paint, surviving from the middle part of the nineteenth century.
The overall composition is of a good quality and the bird is in good condition though a little dusty, with a little fade to the plumage. The case has a beautiful crusty patination to it and is wonderfully untouched and has echoes of a country house.
Wood Duck, by Isaac McLellan, 1886
Most beauteous of all the race That skim the wave or soar in space, With plumage fairer than the rays The bird-of-paradise displays, A mottled purple gloss'd with green, All colors in the rainbow seen; No tropic bird of Indian skies May rival thy imperial dyes.
Fair are thy haunts, O bird that glows With hues of violet and rose,— By lakelet, by transparent stream, Fair as the landscape of a dream, Fair with the drooping groves that throw Their shadows o'er the current's flow; Fair with the bordering slopes that lave Their grasses in the crystal wave,— The crystal wave reflecting back The sky-cloud drifting on its track, Where morn and eve enfold their wing Celestial, and the bluebirds sing.