1872 – A Young Cuckoo fed by Wrens

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“A Young Cuckoo fed by Wrens”, is a full page book plate image, taken from “The Children’s Friend” published by S.W.Partridge & Co, 1872.  In this case, the caption also notes that the illustration is ‘drawn from life by Harrison Weir‘. What is also significant is that this picture and anecdote come direct from the artist, an observation made near his home at Weirleigh in Matfield, Kent. The anecdote accompanying the illustration reading as follows:

“The sons of Mr Bourne, a farmer living at Matfield, Kent, one day in their ramblings discovered a young cuckoo that had evidently got out of the nest, and was lying unfed, and would soon have died. They therefore resolved to take it home and try to bring it up themselves. They put it into an old parrot’s cage,and fed it with chopped meat; but on the second day, on its being hung out-doors, two pretty little Wrens got through the bars of the cage and fed it, and continued to do so day by day, even while they were building their own nest close by. When last I saw the cuckoo he was nearly able to fly. What an instance of practical sympathy is furnished by those little Wrens!”      – Harrison Weir

A delightful story indeed, and beautifully illustrated by Weir. Prints currently available in A4, A3 and A2 sizing options.

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Detail: A Young Cuckoo fed by Wrens, by Harrison Weir       Title Page: The Children's Friend 1872

Detail: 1872 – A Young Cuckoo fed by Wrens                    Title Page:  The Children’s Friend, 1872

Detail: A Young Cuckoo fed by Wrens, by Harrison Weir       Detail: A Young Cuckoo fed by Wrens, by Harrison Weir

Details: 1872 – A Young Cuckoo fed by Wrens                   (Last detail, with artist’s signature in plate)

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