Prints by Mark Catesby
Engravings from the First Natural History of American Flora and Fauna
[ Volume I | Volume II | Third Edition ]
[ From Gentleman's Magazine ]
[ Text on Catesby & his Natural History | Reference books on Catesby ]
Prints by Mark Catesby. From Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands,.... London: [1731-43]. First and second edition. Folio. Etchings. Full original hand coloring. Very good condition.
A wonderful series of prints from Mark Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands, the first natural history of American flora and fauna. First issued between 1731 and 1743, this work would eventually include 220 prints, which for the first time systematically illustrated American birds, animals and plants. For their historic significance, appealing appearance and great scarcity, these are amongst the very finest American natural science prints ever produced.
Go to extended text on Catesby and his natural history.
Only about 300 of the first two editions were originally published, and so the number of prints that would exist today in good condition is very small. We are therefore delighted to be able to offer a good selection of prints from either the first or second editions. The prints are etchings by Catesby with original hand coloring, and they are on hand-laid folio paper with full margins.
Fish, snake, animal, insect and botanical prints
Prints by Mark Catesby. From Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands,.... London: . Etchings. Original hand color. Very good condition.
The popularity of the Catesby images led to the publication, in 1771, of a third edition of the Natural History. At least one other edition was issued in the early 19th century, but the text was never reset so all the prints from 1771 on are called "third edition" prints. The later prints can be identified as they were printed on wove paper, rather than the hand-laid paper used for the prints up to 1771. The images are the same, though the impressions are not quite as strong and the color tends to be brighter and more opaque.
- (T23) The Cat Fish. Ref. Frick and Ewan Natural History. p. 95. Watermark "J. Ruse 1800." Frick suggests that this plate is based on one by John White from his Roanoke expedition of 1585. No sets of this date exist. $800
- (T95) The Buffel's Head Duck. Ref. Frick and Ewan Natural History, p. 95. Watermark "J. Ruse 1800." No sets of this date exist. $850
Catesby Prints from Gentleman's Magazine
From Gentleman's Magazine. London, 1752-55. Ca. 7 1/2 x 4. Engravings and woodcuts. Very good condition.
In 1752-53, when George Edwards was preparing the second edition of Catesby's seminal Natural History, there was considerable interest in this work which illustrated the strange and marvelous natural history of the American colonies. This inspired Gentleman's Magazine, an illustrated journal issued for the British gentleman, to produce a number of copper and wood engraved images after Catesby, to give its readers a sampling of the forthcoming work.
Included in the same magazine were original images by George Edwards:
- Little Thrush. Wood engraving by J. Cave. $145
- Coach Whip Snake. Copper engraving by J. Cave. Original hand color. $215
- Steuartia. [Silky Camellia] Wood engraving. Hand color. October 1753. $375
- The Purple Gross Beak. Wood engraving by J.C. October 1753. $165
- The Rattle Snake. Copper engraving. Hand color. January 1754. $225
Reference books on Mark Catesby
- Alan Feduccia. Catesby's Birds of Colonial America. Chapel Hill, 1985. Paper. Forward by Russell W. Peterson. An excellent book on the fundamental importance of Mark Catesby's Natural History, this volume contains numerous color plates and b&w pictures of all Catesby's birds, along with his original text. Feduccia adds a fine introduction and presents guiding remarks on the plates. $27.50
- Amy R.W. Meyers and Margaret Beck Pritchard. Empire's Nature. Mark Catesby's New World Vision. Chapel Hill, 1998. Cloth. Six essays describing Catesby's influence on the development of eighteenth-century scientific observation, natural history, and art, and their impact on the British colonial enterprise. Numerous color and b&w illustrations. $60.00
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