antique prints, maps and watercolors

(Elephant) Mathias Merian, Dr. John Johnston. Historiae Naturalis. Amsterdam 1660. Archivally framed. $895.00

Tab VIII  "Elephas, Elephant"

Swiss born immensely talented father Mathias Senior (1593-1650) and son Mathias Junior (1621-1687) were the most able and renown copper engravers of their era. Known primarily for their beautifully detailed and technically superb topographical views and maps, the Merians collaborated with the Polish/Scottish natural history scientist, Dr John Johnston (1603-1675) illustrating his six part Historiae Naturalis. The work was first issued in Frankfurt in 1655, with a second issue printed in Amsterdam in 1660. This engraving is from the second issue of 1660. This scientific work was highly respected and much read in the 17th and 18th century. It contained two hundred and fifty uncolored copperplate engravings describing the known world including quadrupeds, insects, fish and reptiles.

We are pleased to offer the so hard to find original elephant engraving. Loved for its composition, along with the Rhino, it is one of the most sought after and difficult to find engraving from this work.


Copperplate engraving, on laid paper
9 x 14 ½ inches sheet
Excellent original condition.