1657 Spider Crabs - Mattheaus MERIAN Folio handcol. Master Engraving - Aquatics

Original copper engraving from: Historia Naturalis..., Published in Amsterdam in 1657.

FOLIO Leaf: 14.9 x 9 inches ; 37.8 x 23 cms

Superb hand coloured copper engraving.

John Jonston (or Johnstone), a descendant of a Scottish family, was born in Sambter, Poland. He was interested in both medicine and natural sciences, and studied at St. Andrews, Cambridge, and Leiden. He published major natural history studies, including Thaumatographia Naturalis (Amsterdam 1632), a compendium of contemporary knowledge of natural science including astronomy, paleontology, plants, animals and man. This was followed by Theatrum Universale Omnium Animalium (Frankfurt, 1650), with plates after his drawings engraved by Matthias Merian depicting the entire range of animal species. After having spent most of his life travelling through all parts of Europe, he settled in Silesia.