1686 Willoughby & Ray - Amazonian Fish - fine folio copper engraving
Original copper engraving from: Francis Willughby's De Historia Piscium libri quatuor published in 1686.
FOLIO Leaf: 36.5 x 22.5 cm
SUPERB ORIGINAL COPPER ENGRAVING!! Later hand colour.
From the first large work on fishes in England, marking a new era in ichthyology that clearly described and classified fishes according to nature and based on their characteristics drawn only from their structure.
Although Ray state with his characteristic modesty to be only the editor of the manuscript of his deceased friend Willughby (1635-1672), his share in compiling the material for the work should not be neglected. The text was printed at the expense of bishop John Fell (founder of the University Press), the plates engraved by Paul van Somers under the supervision of Martin Lister at the expense of several members of the Royal Society of London, among them particularly the Society's president Samuel Pepys to whom the work is dedicated.
Â For the plate volume, Ichthyographia, the majority of the wonderful illustrations were taken from such illustrious authors as Salviani, Rondelet and Aldrovandi.