Antique natural history prints designed both for scientific information and beauty.
From the sixteenth through nineteenth century.
Scientists are fascinated by the variety of birds and the general public is enthralled by the splendor of their plumage, thus there is a long history of beautiful and important bird prints.
While the study of quadrupeds has attracted less notice than ornithology, there is also a long history of fascinating studies on the topic.
The earliest natural histories were almost all concerned with the botanical world, because of the medicinal and nutritional aspects of plants, while later botanical prints often focused on the beauty of the flowers and other plants depicted.
Fruits have also been long studied, with many scientific prints created over the years, but also ones of great beauty.
The earliest prints showing food are edible plants, but images of prepared foods also became popular in the nineteenth century. These are both decorative and interesting for their social history.
Entomology is not usually seen as a natural source for decorative prints, but while some insect images are straightforwardly scientific, others are designed to be as aesthetic as they are precise in detail.
While ichthyological prints are often less than obviously beautiful, they have an aesthetic appeal of their own. Many series show obscure fish, but others focus on popular game fish such as trout and bass.
Shells are not as widely pictured as other natural history subjects, but there have been many shell prints over the years that have a unique and striking appearance.
Frogs, snakes and other reptiles have been depicted in prints from the sixteenth century on and they often have a striking decorative appeal
Minerals have been depicted in some surprisingly interesting and attractive engravings and lithographs.