Credit: © The Royal Society
    Image number: RS.9493
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    Title page of 'Icthyographia'

    Date
    1686
    Creator
    Paul van Somer II (1644 - 1698, Dutch) , Printmaker
    Object type
    Library reference
    18574
    Material
    Technique
    Dimensions
    height (print): 365mm
    width (print): 230mm
    Subject
    Biology
       > Zoology
          > Ichthyology
    Biology
       > Marine biology
    Content object
    nature
       > animal
          > fish
    Description
    The title page to Icthyographia (1685), a component of the larger Historia Piscium, shows one of Neptune’s attendants blowing a large conch shell to trumpet the work’s importance, and a ship bringing in the day’s catch. Illustration from De historia piscium libri quatuor, by Francis Willughby and John Ray (Oxford, 1686).
    Object history
    The Historia Piscium, based on John Ray's editing of the posthumous work of naturalist Francis Willughby, was the first comprehensive book of ichthyology (the study of fishes). The Royal Society was responsible for the printing of the plates, many of which were sponsored by individual Fellows at a cost of one guinea each; the pages of text were printed separately in Oxford. The book did not sell well, and the resulting financial deficit made it impossible for the Society to pay for the publication of Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica.
    Related fellows
    Francis Willughby (1635 - 1672, British) , Naturalist
    John Ray (1627 - 1705, British) , Naturalist
    Associated place
    <The World>
       > Europe
          > United Kingdom
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