One of a series of superb fish illustrations by Mark Bloch (1723-99), a German physician from Berlin. Bloch was one of the earliest students of fish to publish a series of fish prints, and his work remained a primary source for the next century. His descriptions of German fish was reliable and thorough, but his illustrations of foreign fishes were subject to many of the misconceptions that filtered through the great body of travel literature during the eighteenth century. Thus later viewers are presented with a range of pictures with exacting accuracy or enticing imagination. He issued folio and octavo prints, and the care taken in the drawing has caused David Knight in Zoological Illustration (p. 133) to call his work "one of the most sumptuous ever produced." Each specimen picture was engraved on a copper plate and then colored by hand with watercolors. An added and unusual advantage to these plates is the fact that they contain the names of each fish in several languages. A stunning image from a fascinating series. $600
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Mark Catesby. "Pudding Wife and Carolina Whiting." From Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands,.... London: [1731-43]. First or second edition. Folio. Etching. Full original hand coloring. Very good condition.
A rare print from a wonderful series by Mark Catesby, issued in his seminal 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, fish, animals and plants. For their historic significance, appealing appearance and great scarcity, these are amongst the very finest American natural science prints ever produced. $1,100
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Advertising posters with groupings of etchings by William H. Lizars, created for publication in Sir William Jardine's The Naturalist's Library. Edinburgh: W.H. Lizars, 1833-45. Full sheets ca. 22 x 16 1/5. Original hand color. Sheets somewhat browned and brittle, with some edge tears and chipping. Overall, bright color, attractive appearance and good condition.
A very unusual set of posters intended to advertise the publication of William Jardine's famous The Naturalist's Library. This was a popular scientific account first issued in 40 volumes between 1833 and 1845, and intended to describe and illustrate all vertebrate species. The prints in the Library were finely etched and published by William H. Lizars, a leading engraver from Edinburgh, well known as the engraver for the first five plates in Audubon's Birds of America. These posters contain a collage of images taken from the original books, and each is crowned with a title that reads "Leaves from the Book of Nature." At the bottom is the text: "For Full Description Vide The Naturalist's Library. Published by W.H. Lizars Edinburgh. S. Highley London. & W. Curry Junr. & Co. Dublin. And sold by all Book & Print Sellers."
One example of an excellently and accurately rendered series of prints of North American game fish from William C. Harris' ambitious late nineteenth century folio volume. This work was intended to be of superior quality, and efforts were made to this end to the extent that the costs were so high that only one of the two intended volumes was ever completed. In the first part, the publishers stated "neither labor nor money will be economized in the effort to make the publication unequaled in angling literature." Unfortunately, this care in production was not rewarded with financial success, though the artistic success was considerable.
Harris stated that the volume was intended to give as much information as possible about the native American game fish as well as to provide lifelike portraits of various species. For this purpose a professional artist, J.L. Petrie, accompanied Harris around the country in order to paint the fish in as fresh a state as possible, "before the sheen of their color tints had faded." Harris would catch a fish, lay it out for Petrie, who would immediately paint the subject. These paintings were then painstakingly reproduced by chromolithography, using as many as 15 tints per image in order "to reproduce the exact tone and mellow transfusion of color so frequently seen in many species of fish when alive. So closely has the oil effect been followed that an expert cannot distinguish the painting from its copy at a distance of ten feet." With much justification, Harris states that the prints "are minutely accurate in anatomical detail and in the more difficult matter of coloration." $400
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Sherman F. Denton. "Tahoe Trout. Male." From Fish and Game of the State of New York. New York, 1895-1907. Chromolithograph. Quarto. Full size and full margins. Very good condition.
A striking print from a series of finely colored game fish which was produced around the turn of the century. Fed by the popularity of Teddy Roosevelt and other outdoorsmen, game fishing and hunting moved from the realm of necessity to the arena of sport for many Americans. These images were drawn by Sherman Foote Denton, who worked as an artist for the U.S. Fish Commission at the Smithsonian Institute and developed a method of mounting fish that preserved their colors as in life. The State of New York Fisheries, Game and Forest Commission hired Denton to illustrate their annual reports between 1895 and 1907. Like his mounted fish, prints of Denton's superb drawings vividly illustrate the appearance of live fish. Indeed, his series has become the standard by which all subsequent fish prints are judged. $225
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Strikingly detailed mid-nineteenth century lithographs of exotic fish, with meticulously applied hand color from Gervais & Boulart's Les Poissons. These French lithographs are both decorative and informative. Their didactic quality was required by students of natural history at a time when much new information on species and their habitats was becoming available in the West. Charming examples from a delightful and colorful group of fishes.
Plate; Species names: French - Latin (English - if known)
Plate; Species names: French - Latin (English - if known)
Prints by A.D. Turner. From Forest, Lake and River: The Fishes of New England and Eastern Canada. New York: Frank M. Johnson, 1901. 17 1/2 x 27 3/4. Chromolithographs by Sackett & Wilhelm's Lith. & Ptg. Co. With title labels. Very good condition. Note: reflections in images are from mylar not prints.
In the late nineteenth century, a group of artists, including A.B. Frost and Alexander Pope, began to develop an American style of sporting art. A.D. Turner was one of these artists and the chromolithographs of fish made after his watercolors are among the most impressive of the period.
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