image gosse, p h_the aquarium_1854_plate 6
Image number: RS.10765
Credit: © The Royal Society

‘The Aesop Prawn’




Nicholas Hanhart (active 1846-1855, British), Printmaker


Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888, British), Illustrator

Object type




height (print): 137mm
width (print): 85mm


Content object

   > animal


Underwater scene showing the Aesop prawn (described by the author as Pandalus annulicornis, now accepted as Pandalus montagui) with other marine life.

The author commented in the accompanying text that the prawn was found in Weymouth Bay, Dorset: ‘Here too we get the Scarlet-lined Aesop (Pandalus annulicornis), a Prawn of larger dimensions, sufficient to entitle it to a place at our tables. You would at first sight mistake it for the common Prawn...but for the diagonal stripes of rich red that run along each side of its pellucid body. It is a handsome species, but as I have not observed any peculiarities of importance in its economy, I content myself with a figure of it.’

Plate 6 from the book The aquarium: an unveiling of the wonders of the deep sea, by Phillip Henry Gosse (Van Voorst, London, 1854). Inscribed: ‘Pl.VI. P.H.Gosse, delt. Hanhart, Chromo lith. THE AESOP PRAWN &c.’

Philip Henry Gosse (1810-1888) was a populariser of marine biology and an aquarium inventor elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1856.

Associated place

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