The Home of Gifts for Animal Lovers

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ZSL Heritage Prints Collection

Discover beautiful fine art prints of historic animal illustrations from ZSL's Zoological Library and Archives. Available online only in limited quantities.

Flamingo Heritage Print

Bridging the gap between art and science

Our Heritage Prints collection presents a thoughtfully curated selection of zoological drawings and artwork from the 19th and 20th centuries. These pieces were not only aesthetically pleasing but also served as invaluable scientific records of their era.

Each piece in the collection is housed within ZSL’s Library and Archives and has a unique connection to ZSL - whether it’s a piece owned by or created for ZSL, or works published by scientists we collaborated with.

Signing of ZSL Heritage Prints

Exquisite fine art prints

Every artwork in this collection has been professionally scanned and printed on premium quality paper, showcasing the intricate details and vibrant colours. On the reverse, we have included a brief description of the artwork’s origin and its connection to ZSL.

To make each print extra special and unique, every piece has been hand-signed and stamped with the official ZSL logo by our ZSL Library and Archives librarian, Ann Sylph.

The artists

Meet some of the talented illustrators behind the artworks in our Heritage Prints collection. They played a crucial role in documenting and celebrating the natural world, and their works continue to inspire and educate generations.

John Gould

John Gould (1804-1881) was closely associated with ZSL for much of his life. He served as Curator and Preserver at ZSL from 1828 until 1837, when he departed to explore zoology in Australia. His extensive ornithological research, particularly through his impressive large-scale colour plate bird books, established him as Britain’s preeminent ornithologist. Gould’s expertise was further highlighted when he identified the significant variations in the beaks of the ‘Galapagos finches’ from Darwin’s collection, a discovery that contributed substantially to the formulation of Darwin’s theory of natural selection and evolution.

Hummingbird ZSL Heritage Print
John Gould portrait

Joseph Wolf

Joseph Wolf (1820 - 1899) was a German artist renowned for his natural history illustrations. Born in Mörz, Eifel, Germany, he moved to London in 1848. His artistic talents caught the attention of D.W. Mitchell, the Secretary of ZSL. In 1851, Mitchell announced that ZSL would maintain a pictorial record of animals in the zoo, and Wolf was commissioned to create watercolor illustrations for this purpose until 1869.
ZSL Library houses six volumes of original watercolors by Wolf, along with additional loose pieces. These paintings hold immense significance for ZSL: some depict extinct or exceptionally rare animals, while others capture creatures integral to the society’s history. Wolf also illustrated many of ZSL’s publications.

Hippopotamus ZSL Heritage Print
Joseph Wolf portrait

Samuel Richard Tickell

The ZSL Library houses handwritten and illustrated manuscripts by the artist Samuel Richard Tickell (1809-1875). He served in the British Army in India and Burma (now Myanmar), dedicating his leisure time to painting and documenting the local fauna. In 1874, Tickell, along with his relative by marriage, Brian Houghton Hodgson, donated their manuscripts to ZSL. These collections feature a wide array of animals from India, and Hodgson’s contributions also include detailed information on the wildlife of Nepal. Notably, ZSL possesses the original artwork from the unpublished manuscript volume ‘Mammals of India’ by Samuel Richard Tickell, circa 1854-1864.

Pangolin ZSL Heritage Print
Richard Tickell portrait

Keen to learn more?

ZSL's Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives contains a unique collection of resources on zoology and animal conservation and is open to visitors.


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