Plate 1 from A Monograph of the Tetraoninae or, Family of the Grouse, 1864-65
American, b. Germany, 1832–1895
After Daniel Giraud Elliot
Printed by Bowen & Company
The largely self-taught zoologist Daniel Giraud Elliot—Columbia University bestowed an honorary Ph.D. in 1906, when he was 71—was one of the founders of the American Museum of Natural History, with which he remained affiliated throughout his long career. He also served as a curator of zoology at the Field Museum in Chicago between 1894 and 1906. Primarily an ornithologist (although late in life he turned almost exclusively to mammalogy), Elliot’s first publication of note was his Monograph of the Tetraoninae, which consisted of twenty-seven lithographic plates issued to subscribers in five parts, beginning in the latter months of 1864.
Like Gould, Elliot’s modest drawing skills—he sketched all but two of the illustrations for the monograph—necessitated the role of a more professional hand to realize his images on stone. For the Tetraoninae, he worked closely with Charles Tholey, one of the commercial artist working for Bowen and Company, which, due in no small part to its long association with the Audubon family, was at the time considered the finest firm for the printing of natural history material in the country. Since the death of its founder, John Bowen, in 1856, the company had been run by Bowen’s widow, Lavinia, herself a skilled lithographer and colorist, in partnership with John Cassin, then a noted ornithologist but who had worked for Bowen, also as a lithographer, since the 1830s.
Object inscriptions: Drawn from Nature by D. G. Elliot, F. Z. S.: LR: Tholey (mirrored image signature)