Catesby, Mark (1683-1749) (Johann Michael Seligmann Edition)
Mark Catesby (1683-1749) was an Englishman of prosperous background who became known as the father of American Ornithology. His rare and beautiful work “The Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and Bahama Islands”, 1748-1754, was published in London in two folio volumes of 11 parts each consisting of 20 plates. It was the first work to depict the flora and fauna of the new world. Catesby based this monumental work on his two lengthy sojourns in America, first from 1712-1719, staying with his sister Elizabeth and her husband Dr. William Cockle in Williamsburg, Virginia. The second visit was from 1722-1726. He returned to London equipped with a huge number of specimens from which he created the illustrations for this work. Combining the flora and fauna was to save time and money, but also began a new style of print composition. It took him 20 years to complete the work. As his funds were short, he etched his own plates and even hand colored the first of the two volumes. From 1749-1776, Johann Michael Seligmann, a German engraver, re-engraved these Catesby plates as well as many by George Edwards, for the “Sammlung Verschiedener Auslandischer un Seltener Voge” edition published in Nurenberg in 1749. Catesby’s dedication and work greatly contributed to the natural sciences of the 18th century.
Prints from this publication are very rare