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Proof illustration of the animals of New Guinea

Proof illustration of the animals of New Guinea

Catalogue number: WP6/3/1/2

Proof illustration entitled Characteristic Animals of New Guinea for Wallace's book The Geographical Distribution of Animals, dated 1876.

This proof illustration of the Characteristic Animals of New Guinea was for Wallace's two-volume book published in 1876, called The Geographical Distribution of Animals, with a Study of the Relations of Living and Extinct Faunas and Elucidating the Past Changes of the Earth's Surface.

The illustration, originally drawn by J.B. Zwecker, is on a cardboard mount, labelled by Wallace with the common names of the animals shown. These include a crowned pigeon, tree kangaroo, Papuan parraquet, racquet-tailed kingfisher and a twelve wired paradise bird. In the published book, the title was changed to Scene in New Guinea with Characteristic Animals, appearing as Plate XVI in volume 1.

In the preface to the book Wallace says he included the 20 plates, 'each one illustrating at once the physical aspect and the special zoological character of some well-marked divisions of a region', so that readers without a zoological background would be able to enjoy it.

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