|Method||Etching with original hand colouring|
|Published||London: Printed for the Author, at the College of Physicians in Warwick- Lane. |
|Dimensions||257 x 201 mm|
A map of the British Isles the coast of Northern France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway which serves at the frontispiece to George Edwards A Natural History of Birds. The map depicts Edward's voyages around England and Europe between 1718-1730 with inset illustrations of an ibis beak, male and female stag beetles from Borneo, and the Least Hummingbird from Jamaica.
George Edwards (April 3, 1694 - July 23, 1773) was, like Catesby, one of the pioneers of natural history documentation, and is known as the "Father of British Ornithology." His marvellous A Natural History of Birds (London: 1743-51) was produced almost single-handedly. Edwards not only wrote the text for the book but also made the drawings, etched the plates, and hand coloured the prints to be bound in each volume. Seligmann began issuing his ambitious series just a few years after Edwards and Catesby each published their landmark works. The text was translated into German by Georg Leonhard Huth, and Seligmann produced all new plates based on the images of the two Englishmen. In bringing these masterworks to the continental audience, Seligmann has earned himself a rightful place in natural history circles, and his charming prints, reflecting well on their sources, stand on their own as another respected source for 18th-century natural history documentation.
Edwards was born at Stratford, Essex. In his early years he travelled extensively through mainland Europe, studying natural history, and gained some reputation for his coloured drawings of animals, especially birds. In 1733, on the recommendation of Sir Hans Sloane, he was appointed librarian to the Royal College of Physicians in London.