The American wood duck or Carolina duck (Aix sponsa) specimen housed within a sparse naturalistic setting of grasses and branches to a buff paper background, the whole housed in a beautifully crusty glazed display case with remnants of paint, surviving from the middle part of the nineteenth century.
The overall composition is of a good quality and the bird is in good condition though a little dusty, with a little fade to the plumage. The case has a beautiful crusty patination to it and is wonderfully untouched and has echoes of a country house.
Wood Duck, by Isaac McLellan, 1886
Most beauteous of all the race
That skim the wave or soar in space,
With plumage fairer than the rays
The bird-of-paradise displays,
A mottled purple gloss’d with green,
All colors in the rainbow seen;
No tropic bird of Indian skies
May rival thy imperial dyes.
Fair are thy haunts, O bird that glows
With hues of violet and rose,—
By lakelet, by transparent stream,
Fair as the landscape of a dream,
Fair with the drooping groves that throw
Their shadows o’er the current’s flow;
Fair with the bordering slopes that lave
Their grasses in the crystal wave,—
The crystal wave reflecting back
The sky-cloud drifting on its track,
Where morn and eve enfold their wing
Celestial, and the bluebirds sing.