Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Edwards TortoiseEdwards Tortoise

George Edwards

[Pair of Tortoises]

15.5 x 18 inches

A pair of etchings in original hand colour by George Edwards; published in London in 1758 for inclusion in his famous work Gleanings of Natural History, Exhibiting Figures of Quadrupeds, Birds, Insects, Plants &c

The title intriguingly goes on, "which have not till now been either figured or described". Imagine the public delight at seeing images of zebra, giraffe and even the humble tortoise, possibly for the very first time! Many of Edward's beautiful illustrations and prints would have caused a sensation in Georgian England and vastly contributed to the enthusiasm for zoology, botany and ornithology.

Combining his talents as both a scientist and an accomplished draughtsman, George Edwards (1694-1773) was able to produce some of the finest bird illustrations of his age. He was fortunate in his friendship with Sir Hans Soane, which was to lead to his appointment as Librarian at the Royal College of Physicians in 1773. He was taught the art of etching onto copper by another friend and mentor, Mark Catesby whose own bird illustrations formed the first accurate record of ornithological life in the North American Colonies. Both men were unusual in their involvement at every stage of the work from the original drawings in the field through to the etching of the plates.

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