Bonnaterre, Pierre Joseph (1752-1804): Rattle Snakes - handcolored Engraving

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Date of Printing: 1790 • Medium: Copperplate Engraving (hand colored) • Subject Category: Natural History - Snakes, Reptiles, Amphibians • Signed: Plate signed, Lower Right • Period Created: Enlightenment (1700 - 1799) • Plate Size HxWxD cm: 25 x 17.6 • Leaf Paper Size HxW cm: 28 x 20 • Style: Original Vintage • Print on Verso: Blank on verso • Condition: Excellent, with minor toning at edges • Edition Type: 1st Edition - Limited • Paper Type: Laid Paper • Framed: Print only

Engraving by Bernard, for Pierre Bonnaterre, from "Tableau encyclopédique et méthodique des trois règnes de la nature, Ophiologie." Panckoucke, Paris 1790. Plate 2.

Abbé Pierre Joseph Bonnaterre (1752, Aveyron – 20 September 1804, Saint-Geniez) was a French naturalist who contributed sections on cetaceans, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects to the Tableau encyclopédique et méthodique. He is also notable as the first scientist to study the feral child Victor of Aveyron.
Bonnaterre is credited with identifying about 25 new species of fish, and assembled illustrations of about 400 in his encyclopedia work. He was the first scientist to study Victor, the wild child of Aveyron, whose life inspired François Truffaut for his film The Wild Child. Rare copper engraving. Very slight toning at top, otherwise in Excellent condition.