Rare Marcus Elieser Bloch – “The Thornback Ray” – Plate 83 – Circa 1785-1786
Item # CC-0279: Rare Marcus Elieser Bloch – “The Thornback Ray” – Plate 83 – Circa 1785-1786
Date of Printing: Circa 1785-1786
Medium: Copperplate Engraving (hand colored)
Subject: The Thornback Ray (Plate 83)
Dimensions of Frame: 20-3/4” W x 15-1/2” H
Description: This is a rare and original fish print created by Marcus Elieser Bloch (1723-1799) Marcus Elieser Bloch was a German physician and naturalist who is best known for his contribution to ichthyology (the study of fish) through his multi-volume catalog of plates illustrating the fishes of the world. He is generally considered one of the most important ichthyologists of the 18th century.
This beautiful print is from Bloch’s “Ichthyologie, Ou Histoire Naturelle, Generale Et Particuliere, Des Poissons.” (French for “Ichthyology, Or Natural History, General and Particular, Of Fishes”). Ichthyologie is noted as “… the finest illustrated work on fishes ever produced. ” The plates are outstandingly colored, and some are heightened with gold, silver, and bronze to produce the metallic sheen of fish scales.” (Nissen)
Each specimen picture was engraved on a copper plate, pressed onto paper, and then colored by hand with watercolors. An added and unusual advantage to these plates is the fact that they contain the names of each fish in different languages. This particular plate is very rare and highly sought after because of its quality of preservation, subject matter, and popularity with collectors. If you are a collector of superb engraved art from the 18th century and love fishes, this specimen is a must have!
Condition: The work is in excellent condition overall. Some of the plates from this work were occasionally trimmed into the plate mark during the binding process. There may be a few minor imperfections to be expected with age, so please review the image carefully for condition and contact us with any questions.
For more information on these beautiful fish illustrations, click this link.