John Frederick Miller. Tab. XX. “Viverra, tetradactyla.” (Ferret). From Cimelia Physica. Figures of Rare and Curious Quadrupeds, Birds, &c. Together With Several of the Most Elegant Plants. Text by George Shaw. London: ; second edition, 1822. Ca. 17 x 12. Engraving. Original hand coloring. Full margins. Very good condition.
An original antique print by John Frederick Miller, from an unusual eighteenth-century compendium of plant and animal life, Cimelia Physica. Miller, a fine botanical artist, worked from the latest information about exotic specimens supplied to him by Sir Joseph Banks, one of the key figures in English natural history circles. Miller painted and engraved these botanical and zoological subjects, which in many cases are the first illustrations of the species. The descriptive text is also of historical importance, as it is the work of George Shaw, founder member of the Linnæan Society. These prints are almost unsurpassed for their winning subjects, imaginatively arranged into large scale and beautifully colored compositions. The birds nestled into tree branches, the quadrupeds pictured beside detailed renderings of their heads, along with the most enticing of botanicals, all exhibit the wonderful character and exuberance that make the prints of this period so special.