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    The purple martin and the ‘Smilax (forte) lenis’

    Date
    1731
    Creator
    Mark Catesby (1683 - 1749, British) , Naturalist
    Object type
    Library reference
    18894
    Material
    Technique
    Dimensions
    height (print): 265mm
    width (print): 365mm
    Subject
    Biology
       > Zoology
          > Ornithology
    Biology
       > Natural history
    Biology
       > Botany
    Content object
    nature
       > animal
          > bird
    nature
       > plant
    Description
    Hirundo purpurea’, the purple martin, and ‘Smilax (forte) lenis, folio anguloso hederaceo’ (Catesby’s identifications; modern scientific names: Progne subis, the purple martin; Cocculus carolinus, the Carolina coralbead).

    Plate 51 from volume I of The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands by Mark Catesby (London, 1731).

    Mark Catesby was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1733.
    Object history
    Travelling under the auspices of the Royal Society, the English naturalist Mark Catesby (1683-1749) recorded the earliest scientific descriptions of the flora and fauna of the New World. He was the first naturalist to use folio-sized colour plates in a natural history book, and etched the copper plates himself before hand-colouring each individual print with watercolours. Volume I of his monumental Natural History appeared in 1731, leading to Catesby’s election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society two years later.
    Associated place
    <The World>
       > North America
          > United States
    <The World>
       > North America
          > Bahamas
    Credit
    © The Royal Society
    Image number
    RS.10491
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