British Birds

  • With full-colour portraits illustrated by Raymond Harris Ching (copy signed by illustrator)
  • Drive Publications Ltd, London, 1969
  • For the Readers Digest Association Ltd and The Automobile Association
  • Book: 285mm x 170mm x 44mm
  • Box: 302mm x 198mm x 58mm
  • Bound in 2017
  • Private Collection, UK

Full leather binding bound in green goatskin.
Across the cover are a variety of coloured leather onlays.
Detail is added to these onlays with different embroidery stitches using coloured threads.
Blind and gold tooling is applied over the whole book using hand-made finishing tools.
The endpapers have been printed with feathers using analine dyes, then embellished with pencils.
One of the feathers on each doublure is backed with gold leaf laminated to Japanese paper and threads added on top.
The box is made of tulip wood with mitred corners and a leather title label.
Inspiration for the design
The book is a comprehensive guide to all the bird species seen in Britain. “For most people, an interest in birds begins with identification – with the pleasure to be had from being able to put the right name to a bird, whether studied at leisure in a town park or glimpsed fleetingly on a drive through the country...Familiarity with them will make identification quick and easy.”
The commission was for an avid “birder” who chose the book due to his love of bird watching and has his three favourite birds featured on the cover; a Lapwing on the back cover, a Skylark on the spine and two Curlews on the front cover. They are set against a linear background to stay in keeping with the illustrations within the text block.