Daniel Giraud Elliot (1835-1915) From: A Monograph of the Felidae or Family of Cats After Josef Wolf, by J. Smith London: 1883 Hand-colored lithographs 33 ¼" x 28 ¼" framed
These magnificent cats are from one of the finest color plate works on mammals, one that describes and illustrates all the species of Cats known at the time of publication - Daniel Elliot’s work entitled A Monograph of the Felidae or Family of Cats. Elliot was influential in the scientific world of the nineteenth century as a founder of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and as the curator of zoology at the Field Museum in Chicago. In addition to his own talents, Elliot employed Joseph Smit and Joseph Wolf to create these hand-colored lithographs. The work was published from 1878 to 1883 and was a valuable resource in correctly naming and identifying the individual members of the cat family.
“Among the Families which constitute the Class Mammalia no more attractive one can be found than that of Felidae, as its members possess in the highest degree a beauty, both of form and coluoring, most gratifying to the eye, and are also endowed with physical strength and weapons of offence not surpassed, and only partially equaled, by any known creatures now living upon the earth. The Family comprises not only the largest and most ferocious of the beasts of prey, but also the graceful little animal that delights to make its home within man’s abode.” (Elliot “Preface”).