|Published||London, Published by Dr. Thornton, July.1.1809.|
|Dimensions||Image 287 x 250 mm, Plate 305 x 250 mm, Sheet 475 x 325 mm|
A scarce early nineteenth century mezzotint of a covered glass jar set in a shallow dish. A length of spiralling wire is suspended from the lid with the wire burning at the end, in a ball of light with rays containing bright, small particles.
Robert John Thornton (1768-1837) was an English physician and botanical writer. The son of the poet and critic Bonnell Thornton, he studied medicine at Trinity College, Cambridge. He worked at Guy's Hospital, London, where he later lectured in medical botany. He is best known for 'A New Illustration of the Sexual System of Carolus Von Linnaeus' (1797-1807), and 'The British Flora' (1812). The most ambitious aspect of the 'New Illustration...' was 'Part III - The Temple of Flora' (1799-1807). Thornton had planned to publish seventy folio-size plates, engraved by Thomas Medland after Philip Reinagle. However, a lack of interest from the general public meant this plan was unsuccessful.
Condition: Foxing to sheet edges and time toning to sheet, mainly covered by mount.