Aren’t these Bolton grey chickens lovely? It’s a shame but I suspect these birds, while popular in the mid-1800s have been cross-bred into virtual extinction or given an entirely new name. But, we are still fortunate to be left with this wonderful grey chicken drawing from 1842. It was one of several colored book plates featuring chicken illustrations. This is the last one in the series that I’ve shared with you here on Reusable Art.
Like the other colored chicken drawings from A practical treatise on breeding, rearing, and fattening all kinds of domestic poultry, pheasants, pigeons, and rabbits : also, the management of swine, milch cows, and bees, with instructions for the private brewery on cider, perry, and British wine making, this one features both a cock and a hen of the breed.
Their feathers are somewhat graduated from white to grey to black at the tips. The male appears to have a bit of green in the tips of his draping tail feathers. He also has some long, whisky feathers along his neck. Both the male and the female are very pretty and were recognized in several vintage books as being elegant and beautiful birds.
This grey chicken drawing is in the public domain due to the age of the book and the fact that no illustrator was officially recognized. The drawing does appear to have two names and they may or may not have been the illustrator, engraver or colorists.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.