antique prints, maps and watercolors

Pl. 1.27 The Mockbird. The Natural History of the Carolinas... London, 1771. $2,750.00

click for detailed image CatesbyMockbird2.jpg

The Mock Bird 

Mark Catesby was an English botanist who spent a total of ten years traveling around the east coast of the United States and the Bahamas collecting specimens and making drawings for the first natural history of America.  His wildly diversified work contains plants, birds, insects, snakes, small mammals (and a bison!), fish and mollusks.  Catesby supported himself as a nurseryman while he labored for ten years organizing his specimens, drawing and engraving and sometimes hand coloring his work.  Finally, in 1731, he published the first volume of The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands. It contains 100 images of birds. He published a second volume containing animals, fish, shells, insects, snakes, etc. in 1743. The work remained unsurpassed as a reference for many years. It continued to be so useful, that a second edition was published in 1754 with an appendix of 20 additional engraved plates.  A third edition was published in 1771. Catesby's images are imaginatively and boldly figured in a straightforward style which calls folk art to the mind of the modern viewer.

This is a delightful depiction of a Mockingbird and a Dogwood tree.
18 1/2 x 12 1/4 inches, sheet.
Hand colored copperplate engraving on laid paper. 
With accompanying text.
Framed to museum specifications with hand painted matting.
20 1/2 x 24 inches, overall.