William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed

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Lot 198
William Pope
(British/Canadian, 1811-1902)
An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed

Sold for £ 50,250 (US$ 69,344) inc. premium
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902)
An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies
most signed with initials 'W.P.', dated between 1834-47 and inscribed with an identification of the animal depicted
watercolour, bodycolour and pen and ink
50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54)
unframed

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The artist's family and thence by descent.

    Exhibited
    Simcoe, Ontario, Lynnwood Art Centre, Birds of a Feather, 3-31 May 1987 (a selection).
    Simcoe, Ontario, Eva Brook Donly Museum, May-7 June 1987 (a selection).
    Simcoe, Ontario, Lynnwood Art Centre, 4 August-3 September 1989 (a selection).

    William Pope has been described as the 'Canadian Audubon' in reference to his ornithological studies and their connection with the work of his contemporary, the great American artist and naturalist, John James Audubon. Both men had a passion for the birds of North America, their difference, however, lies in the approach to their work. Audubon was a professional whose greatest artistic achievement was the publication of his The Birds of America between the years 1827-38. On the other hand, Pope's artistic endeavours were of a highly personal nature and there is no evidence that he ever sought their publication or sale. Instead, his drawings were left to his family, and a large number are subsequently in the collection of the Toronto Public Library. The present collection comes from his direct descendants and represent the first of Pope's work to have ever been offered at auction.

    Born in Kent in 1811 to a wealthy family, Pope was able to indulge in his two great passions of painting and shooting. In 1834 he made his first journey to Canada to explore what he understood to be a place of great natural beauty, but also opportunity. In his journals from the time, he outlines his excitement upon setting sail from the UK:

    '...thoughts of a brighter hue rose quickly in my breast while fancy and imagination were busy picturing scenes and objects of the country I am going to visit'

    Although an arduous journey plagued with extreme weather, Pope recalls with great humour the delights to be found in these more difficult situations:

    'One other great source of fun and amusement was created by the total disarray of the eatables and drinkables at mealtimes, it being almost impossible sometimes to keep anything on the table... Sometimes legs of mutton and pork would all at once have the life instilled into them again, would quit their respective places and scrape an acquaintanceship with your person by bounding into your lap from which curious freak your dress would assuredly receive most sad and lasting remembrances of their close embrace.'

    These journals not only shed light on the realities of travel during this time, but they also highlight Pope's knowledge of birds, as from the moment of setting sail and throughout his travels, he lists the various species that he sights. Belonging to a different time, we also receive a first-hand account of how Pope came to get such a close look at these animals:

    'To help pass away the time which hung heavily and wearily in travelling by tow boat at the rate of two miles per hour I got my gun out and amused myself in shooting some small birds. I killed a yellow bird a species of gold finch very similar to the European. I also shot a bird called the brown thrush. I saw several of both sorts of these birds and many others, robins, blue jays, kingfishers, crows and woodpeckers. I also observed some of the pretty little blue bird and some sand pipers.'

    He goes on to describe in greater detail his observations and interactions with some species:

    'I also saw many other sorts of birds, most of which were quite new to me (...) One (...) called the red headed woodpecker is a very beautiful and brilliant bird, its colours are bright scarlet upon the head and neck, back wings and tail black rump, secondaries of the wings and breast white. It is a very conspicuous and sprightly bird flying and sitting upon fences having but little fear or regard for man.'

    Returning to England in 1835, Pope would go on to make several more trips to North America before settling permanently near Port Ryerse, Ontario, in 1859 until his death in 1902. Throughout this time, he continued to document with great artistry the wildlife of North America. He summarises this passion in his journal:

    '[I]n the morning I went out shooting the rest of the day I was occupied in painting a bird – these were my two principal amusements during the [time in Upper Canada].'

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the lot includes the transcribed journals of William Pope including; part one March 28 1834-May 16 1834, part two May 16 1834-July 21 1834 (three copies), and part three July 22 1834-March 11 1835.
Contacts
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
William Pope (British/Canadian, 1811-1902) An extensive archive of fifty-four Canadian animal studies, comprised of forty ornithological studies and fourteen ichthyological studies 50 x 33.8cm (19 3/4 x 13 1/4in) and smaller. (54) unframed
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