Tuesday, August 10

A vacation from blogger vacation

Well, that didn't last long!

I'm back, feeling a little less bored and a little more inspired. So, let's kick things off with a reader question. Lauren found me via my friend Jennifer of The Newlywed Diaries and she emailed with a question about this pretty, weathered print of what looks like a toucan:

image via Southern Living

She cannot find it anywhere and sadly, neither can I. But, I can tell you that this appears to be an older print, possibly used once in a classroom. I don't think it is a true antique, since the real thing would be displayed more carefully (I hope!)

While I couldn't find an exact match for Lauren, here are a few close options for her to consider.

A Toucan by Fransois Le Vaillant
circa 1806

South American explorer Fransois Le Vaillant found this long billed toucan while walking in the forests of Guiana and documented it in his book, Histoire Naturelle Des Paradis Et Des Pollier. You can see several beautiful plates from this book at the New York Public Library's Digital Gallery.

I found a print for sale at my favorite art gallery, AllPosters.com.

Okay, so AllPosters.com it isn't exactly my favorite gallery, but they do have a massive collection of historic prints and their prices are hard to beat. And since I'm an art lover on a serious budget, I highly recommend them.

This one, also by Le Vaillant is another great option.

Date unknown

If Lauren felt like deviating slightly from the original print of a single toucan, I think this colorful couple by English ornithologist John Gould is gorgeous option:

Short Billed Toucan
John Gould, 1804- 1881
Date unknown

All of these prints can be ordered without a border, like the one in Lauren's picture. To get the complete look of the mystery inspiration piece, Lauren will need to hang it using a rail system. Rail frames were often used to display those old school maps we used to have in class before overheads and smart boards took over. (Don't you feel old...)

I suggest buying a cheap hanging frame like this one and spray painting it matte black. Since the rails are fairly light, she can replace the chains with a heavy duty fishing line or a perhaps a elegant cord for a more traditional gallery look.

Lauren, let me know if you find the perfect toucan!

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