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The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd.Natural History

Moses Harris' Natural History of English Insects

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Prints by Moses Harris. From The Aurelian or Natural History of English Insects Namely Moths and Butterflies Together with Plants. London: 1778. 12 x 19. Copper engravings. Full original hand color. With some minor paper toning and light spots. Very good condition, except as noted. Sitwell: 63. Denver.

An unusually charming and detailed series of eighteenth century entomological prints. They are from Moses Harris's prints showing insect and plant species together in their natural groupings. Various stages of development of each insect species are shown together with the plant or plants on which they are often found, and often with the appropriate apparatus for catching the insect. This "natural" setting is unusual, for many such naturalist series show species or groups of species isolated from their habitats. Sacheverell Sitwell, in his Great Flower Books, 1700-1900, refers to The Aurelian as an entomological work "in which appear some charming and accurate portraits of plants . . . [where] the flowers and foliage are represented, admittedly sometimes gnawed and frayed, as the host plants of insects."


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