Date of Printing: 1840 • Medium: Engraving (hand colored) • Subject Category: Natural History - Snakes, Reptiles, Amphibians • Signed: Plate signed, Lower Left • Period Created: Romantic (1800 - 1899) • Plate Size HxWxD cm: 14.4 x 24 • Leaf Paper Size HxW cm: 14.4 x 24 • Style: Original Vintage • Print on Verso: Blank on verso • Condition: Fair, with heavy foxing • Edition Type: 1st Edition - Limited • Paper Type: Woven • Framed: Print only
Lovely antique hand-colored print from Oliver Goldsmith's History of the Earth and Animated Nature. The beautifully detailed plates from this book show the animals in a natural setting adding to the feel of realism. Caption: (printed below image) 1. Anaconda 2. Pedda Poda 3. Port Natal Python 4. Rattlesnake 5. Rattlesnake, Black Variety 6. Cobra de Capello
These copper-plate engravings are from Oliver Goldsmith's (1728-1774) A History of the Earth and Animated Nature. The first edition (in eight volumes) appeared in London in 1774. The work sought to draw together virtually all that was known about the planet earth, its plants and animals, and even its human inhabitants described from a biological perspective. Goldsmith had intended to translate Pliny's Natural History, but after reading Buffon, he decided that "the best imitation of the ancients was to write from our own feelings and to imitate nature." Goldsmith's Animated Nature went through over twenty editions into the Victorian era and served as a popular source of information about the natural world.
James Stewart was born at Edinburgh in October or November 1791. He was articled to Robert Scott the engraver, and had as his helpful fellow pupil John Burnet. He also studied drawing in the Trustees' Academy. On the foundation of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1826 he became an original member. In Edinburgh he lived at 4 Hermitage Place, a narrow street in Stockbridge renamed Raeburn Street in 1922 following Edinburgh absorbing Leith in 1920 which already had a Hermitage Place.
In 1830 Stewart moved to London. In 1833 he was induced by financial troubles to emigrate to Cape Colony; there he settled as a farmer, but within a year lost everything through the outbreak of the Sixth Xhosa War. He then went to reside in the town of Somerset East. Teaching and painting portraits, he earned enough to purchase another property. He subsequently became a magistrate and a member of the legislature, and died in the colony in May 1863.
Printed on cream color stock. Reverse side is blank. Heavy foxing throughout the print, but due to exceptional value as an oddity, we offer this proudly here.