Credit: ©The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.20638

    Globefish

    Date
    1686
    Creator
    Unknown, Artist
    Object type
    Library reference
    18574
    Material
    Dimensions
    height (page): 365mm
    width (page): 230mm
    Subject
    Content object
    nature
       > animal
          > fish
    Description
    Ichthyological study of various species:

    1. The unicorn leather jacket, Aluterus monoceros, [top left as viewed], here styled Pira aca Brasiliensibus
    2. The butterfish [top right], here styled Stromateus, Rondel
    3-4. Two boarfish species [middle], here styled Aper Bellon [left], and Aper Rondel [right].
    5-6. Two globefish species [bottom], here styled Orbis sculatus Rondel [left], and Orbis echinatus [right].

    Printed inscription: ‘1. Pira aca Brasiliensibus/ 2. Stromateus, Rondel/ 3. Aper Bellon/ 4. Aper Rondel/ 5. Orbis Scutatus Rondel/ 6. Orbis echinatus jive muricatus Rondel/ Tab. I.4.’ with further handwritten annotation ‘1. Monosceros piscis cluso exot. 2. Callichthys Bellon. Gesner. 4. Described p.296. 6. The Hedge hog-Globe fish’ Numbered ‘52’ in the top right-hand corner.

    Plate I:4 from De historia piscium libri quatuor, by Francis Willughby and John Ray (Oxford, 1686).

    Francis Willughby (1635-1672), British naturalist, was an Original Fellow of the Royal Society.

    John Ray (1627-1705), British naturalist, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1667.
    Object history
    The Historia Piscium, a work begun by Francis Willughby (1635–1672), completed by John Ray (1627–1705), was the first comprehensive book of ichthyology. It consists of two parts, the text and illustrations, which were printed separately but frequently bound together. For both parts, Ray drew heavily on works by others, including Hippolytus Salviani (1514-1572), Guillaume Rondelet (1507-1566), Conrad Gessner (1516-1565), Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605) and more.

    The Royal Society was responsible for publication of this work, including the printing of its plates, of which there are 187 in total. This proved to be an expensive endeavour, and many of the plates were sponsored by individual Fellows to help defray the costs. This copy of Historia Piscium is annotated with the remarks of Tancred Robinson (1658-1748) penned down by Francis Aston (1644-1715); with later annotations by Cromwell Mortimer (c.1699-1752).
    Related fellows
    Francis Willughby (1635 - 1672, British) , Naturalist
    John Ray (1627 - 1705, British) , Naturalist
    Associated place
    <The World>
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          > United Kingdom
             > London
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