26 - 27 January 2006
CATTON, Charles, the younger (1759-1819). Animals Drawn from Nature. London: printed for the author and sold by I. and J. Taylor, -1788.
Oblong 2° (426 x 275mm). 36 hand-coloured aquatint plates by and after Catton heightened with white and gum arabic. (Plates trimmed to image and mounted, text leaves lightly spotted.) Contemporary calf gilt in upright 2° format, covers with neo-classical borders, gilt turn-ins, marbled edges (rebacked and recornered, endpapers renewed, some rubbing).
FIRST EDITION, marking the earliest use of aquatint for a work on natural history (see Prideaux p. 289). This copy varies from others in having been bound in an upright rather than oblong format, the plates being mounted on contemporary blanks (watermarked 1794) and then framed within pen-and-ink and wash borders, with captions and numbering in ink. The son of the artist Charles Catton the Elder (1728-1798), coach painter to George III and founder-member of the Royal Academy, Charles Catton the younger was taught by his father and admitted to the Royal Academy Schools in 1775. He worked as a landscape artist in England and Scotland, exhibiting some 37 paintings at the Royal Academy between 1775 and 1800. As a book illustrator, he prepared designs to illustrate Gay's Fables as well as the plates for the present work, but emigrated to North America in 1804 where he took up farming. Nissen ZBI 847; Prideaux p. 330.
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