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James Alder (1920 - 2007)
Birds Of Paradise


Blue Bird of Paradise  Watercolour  14" x 13"  signed (unframed but can be framed at reasonable cost)

Commissioned for a limited edition of plates, James Alder travelled to Papua New Guinea to study and paint the Birds of Paradise in their natural habitat. With introductory letters to the Governing Officials by Sir Peter Scott and Sir James Steel, he was allowed to travel and study birds resulting in these beautiful watercolour paintings. While there he was invited to try his hand with the bow and arrow of a tribesman. Not knowing James was very adept when younger, he hit the target first time and was instantly elected to the honorary position of tribal chief. 

In addition there are some field sketches/notes and a series of smaller paintings intended for exotic limited editions of life size Royal Worcester porcelain models.

Provenance: Sold on behalf of the Alder family from their collection. 


James Alder (1920 - 2007)

Born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, James Alder was a painter, illustrator and sculptor of Natural History and described as the successor to the great engraver and artist Thomas Bewick. A major figure in Natural History in the North East, he served latterly as president of the Natural History Society of Northumbria and was awarded honorary degrees from the University of Northumbria and a Doctorate from Newcastle University. Working for several years as the chief animalia sculptor for Royal Worcester, he produced many beautiful limited edition models in both porcelain and bronze. 

Perhaps the pinnacle of his career were his two limited edition books of "The Birds and Flowers of the Castle of Mey" for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and the "Birds of Balmoral" for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Described by a leading art authority "James Alder was a towering figure of Natural History and wildlife illustration in the region for almost half a century". 

Other paintings by this artist:

  • Badgers in Moonlight
  • Birds and Flowers of the Castle of Mey
  • Birds Of Paradise
  • Birds Of Paradise
  • Birds Of Paradise
  • Black necked Grebe
  • Bluethroat
  • Chaffinches
  • Dunlin
  • Golden Conure, Brazil
  • Golden Oriole
  • Pale Bellied Brent
  • Pied Flycatcher
  • Rainbow Lorikeet, Papua Newguinea
  • Ring Ouzel
  • Sedge Warbler
  • Short-eared Owl
  • The Chillingham Cattle
  • The Chillingham Cattle (sketch)
  • Turquoise Parakeet, Northern Australia
  • Waxwing
  • Wheatear
  • The Chase, Merlin
  • Crocuses
  • The Holly
  • The dragonfly
  • Stoats

Artwork Tags: Animal | Northumbrian | Watercolour

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