Josselyn, John, fl. 1630-1675.
New-Englands rarities discovered: : in birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, and plants of that country. : Together with the physical and chyrugical remedies wherewith the natives constantly use to cure their distempers, wounds, and sores. : Also a perfect description of an Indian squa, [sic] in all her bravery; with a poem not improperly conferr'd upon her. : Lastly a chronological table of the most remarkable passages in that country amongst the English. : Illustrated with cuts. / By John Josselyn, gent.
London, : Printed for G. Widdowes at the Green Dragon in St. Pauls Church-Yard,, 1672.
, 114,  p.,  folded leaf of plates : ill. ; 15 cm.
Following page 54 "Hollow Leav'd Lavender"
Josselyn traveled to New England twice, 1638-1639 and 1663-1671 and this is the first book he wrote on his experiences, the second being largely an expansion of the first. He was most familiar with Maine, where he visited his brother Henry, who later became deputy governor of Maine and New Hampshire. Josselyn recorded his observations of the flora and fauna with great accuracy, including the medical use made of plants; one third of the text is comprised of lists of the plants and animals he encountered. This is one of the earliest books on the natural history of New England.
Ellis, John, 1710?-1776.
John Ellis was called a "bright star of natural history" by Linnaeus. In 1754, he became a fellow of the Royal Society and proceeded to produce many innovative works in natural history. In 1764, he was appointed agent for Florida in 1764 and also for Dominica in 1770. He was greatly concerned with shipping plants and seeds back to England, being especially concerned with shipping over longer distances. He decried the poor survival rate and proposed various methods of packing and crating. This was a matter of no small concern to Great Britain, as witnessed by the expedition of Captain Bligh and the Bounty to Tahiti in 1787 for the sole purpose of gathering breadfruit to introduce into the West Indies. Almost as an afterthought, Ellis provides a description of the Venus's flytrap in this small book.
Engraving and hand-colored engraving.
Hand-colored Line Engraving - Intaglio
The engraving is done in the usual manner, then color is added by hand. Hand-coloring refers to any print that is then colored by hand, usually with water-color. The term distinguishes the process from color added by mechanical means.
Catesby, Mark, 1683-1749.
Plate 106 "Cacao Arbor"
The Natural History is the most famous book of American flora and fauna. It is a foundational and original work on American species. The plates vary from well designed and accurate to somewhat clumsy, where it is difficult to identify the subject. Overall, it is a masterpiece and a delight to leaf through. The first edition was published in parts, 1731-1743, with an appendix published in 1747. A second revised edition was issued in 1754 and the third edition was issued in 1771, which also includes a list of Linnaean names. The date, however, is misleading. This copy has two watermarks and countermarks, translucent images left in the paper caused by wire designs. These are readily visible when the paper is held to the light. One is I Taylor with a Strasburg lily used in the letterpress leaves. John Taylor was not associated with a peppermill until 1786 and this form of the watermark is not recorded until the mid 1790s. More startling, the other watermark is J Whatman 1794. It is known that there are issues of the 1771 edition far after that date based on evidence of the paper, but this indicates a printing of at least 23 years.
Hand-colored Etching - Intaglio
In etching, the surface of a plate is covered with a wax coating that is impervious to acid. In all types of prints in which acid is used the resistant coating is termed the ground. In an etching, the illustration is made with an etching needle, which cuts through the ground and exposes the surface beneath. The plate is put in an acid bath and the acid works away at the exposed surface of the plate. The process can produce different effects if the plate is removed from the bath and certain exposed areas are treated with a ground, a procedure termed stopping, and the plate returned to the bath, more deeply etching the still exposed areas. The lines of an etching look different than those of an engraving. The sides of the lines look eroded and irregular, while those of an engraving are smooth. The ends of the lines in an etching are blunt, unlike the sharpness of an engraving, unless the etching was touched up with a burin.
Plate 12 "Coffea Ociidentalis or Coffee Tree"
This is an extremely rare botanical work on the Americas, with less than ten copies known to exist. The attribution of the work to Lydia Byam comes from a letter laid-in the Hunt Botanical Library copy identifying her as the older sister of William Gunthorpe, governor of Antigua, which also has the initials "LB": handwritten at the bottom of the dedication. Two other copies are bound with A collection of fruits from the West indies, drawn and colored from nature in which the dedication is signed "Lydia Byam." The imprint comes from a review in the Monthly review, n. s., v. 30, p. 333, November, 1799. This may be faulty as the Collection of fruits, printed in a similar matter, does have an imprint being the Oriental Press of Wilson & Co. The dedicatée, Viscountess Galway, was Jane Westenra Monckton. A copy offered for sale by H.P. Kraus in 1952 has Frances Jane Monckton written on an endpaper and the Hunt copy has Elizabeth Mary Monckton. This copy has Frances Jane Monckton. The Kraus description of the binding and the signature indicate it could possibly be the Kraus copy, but it was acquired in 1955 with no indication of provenance.
Hand-colored etchings. Some plates also have aquatinting.
Bigelow, Jacob, 1786-1879.
Plate XXXI "Lirodendron tulipfera Tulip tree"
Bigelow received his A.B. from Harvard in 1806 and then attended medical lectures under Dr. John Gorham. He later went to the University of Pennsylvania, earning his M.D. in 1810 and studied botany under Benjamin Smith Barton. In 1811, he returned to Boston and began a medical practice with Dr. James Jackson. Beginning in 1812, Bigelow lectured on botany at Harvard with W. D. Peck and compiled the Florula Bostoniensis, which was published in 1814. From 1817-1820 he published American medical botany, for which he drew many of the plates.
A thousand copies of the first edition were issued. This is one of the two first color plate books printed in America, the other being William P. C. Barton's Vegetable materia medica of the United States, also printed in 1817. Originally, Bigelow intended to publish the work with hand-colored engravings, but it soon became obvious that this method was too costly in both time and money. He developed a special method of making the prints that is difficult to positively identify. It looks most like a dust-ground aquatint, yet it has been suggested that he etched on stone. Details were added by hand.
Dust-ground aquatint on stone(?) with hand colored details.
Hand-colored Dust-ground Aquatint - Intaglio
There are two types of aquatints, spirit and dust-ground. A dust-ground aquatint is made from a plate that is sprinkled with particles of ground. The plate is heated and the ground melts. Depending on the size of the particles and where they are placed on the plate, a great variety of effects can be achieved. Lines were often drawn on the plate with an etching needle to delineate outlines, as in etching. When magnified, prints made from this process look like little islands of white in a sea of ink. The effect is very tonal and was first used to imitate watercolor painting.