Credit: ©The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.18777


    Mark Catesby (1683 - 1749, British) , Naturalist
    Object type
    Library reference
    height (print): 265mm
    width (print): 355mm
    Content object
       > animal
          > fish
    Zoological study of an angelfish, Pterophyllum, referred to here as Acarauna major, shown in right profile.

    Signed and inscribed: 'An Acarauna &c'

    Written in the associated description: 'These fish are taken on the Coasts of Carolina, but on the Coasts of the Bahama Islands are found the same shaped Fish, with both small and large Scales, deeply verged with Gold.'

    Plate 31 from volume II of Mark Catesby’s The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands (London, 1731).

    Mark Catesby (1683-1749), British naturalist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1733.
    Object history
    The Natural History was originally published in 10 parts, intended to be bound in 2 volumes. It was the earliest western scientific description of the flora and fauna of North America, and its copper plates were etched and hand-coloured by Catesby himself.

    Catesby’s trips to North America were funded by a group of sponsors, many of whom were colonial governors, charged with managing the British Empire’s territories, and their support of Catesby’s research can be read as an exercise in colonial control. As The Natural History’s parts were issued it also became important as a reference text to naturalists attempting to order the natural world according to the ambitious taxonomic systems that characterized the mid-18th century.
    Associated place
    <The World>
       > North America
          > United States
    <The World>
       > North America
          > Bahamas
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