antique prints, maps and watercolors

Benjamin Wilkes. (Butterflies) …English Moths and Butterflies. London 1773. Framed. $895.00

click for detailed image Wilkes XXXV.jpg

Plate XXXC

Benjamin Wilkes ( b.? d. 1749) the author and artist of this natural history engraving struggled as a painter of “History Pieces and Portratis in Oyl.”  Once he viewed the butterfly and moth collection belonging to the Aurelian Society, he dedicated his career to the studying and drawing of caterpillars, moths, etc.  The titled of the work: One Hundred and Twenty Copper-Plates of English Moths and Butterflies, representing their change into the caterpillar, chrysalis, and fly states, and the plants, flowers, and fruits, whereon they feed. Coloured with great exactness from the subjects themselves, with a natural history of the moths and butterflies, describing the method of managing, preserving, and feeding them.

“This is truly a ‘great flower book,’  as the plants depicted dominate the composition and are actually more artistically accomplished then the attending insects. About Wilkes there is little known. He drew and engraved these plates and possibly colored them as well.

This engraving was included in the re-issue of the plates and sheets of the first issue (c. 1749), printed and colored in London in 1773.

In lovely closed corner gold leafed decorative frames with corner ornament and bespoke French mattings, each is a little treasure.

Copperplate engraving on laid paper with full original hand color.
19 x 16 ¾ inches outside frame size, 10 ¾ x 9 inches site.
Full original color, some slight toning and negligible paper staining expected in a 250 year old work on paper.