Johann Seligmann created this wonderful folio work featuring the art of both George Edwards and Mark Catesby. Entitled Sammlung verschiedener auslandischer und seltener Vogel, the rare work features beautiful engravings and original hand coloring. Seligmann re-engraved the plates of both Edwards and Catesby. The work was published by J. J. Fleischmann in Nurmberg between 1749 and 1776.
Mark Catesby was a well-known naturalist born in England in 1682. He spent 10 years of his life in the American colonies observing the native species of plants and animals. After returning to England, he dedicated the next 20 years to producing the first English, all-inclusive study of American natural history, Natural History of Carolina, Florida, and Bahama Islands. Catesby was the first to incorporate plant life and birds on the same page. Because Catesby was too poor at the time to hire engravers, he studied under Joseph Goupy, learning to etch plates himself to save money and ensure accuracy. The result is this wonderfully detailed work featuring hundreds of American species, giving the Old World the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the World beyond. Catesby is referred to as ‘The Father of American Ornithology’ and his Natural History was the first to depict the flora and fauna of the new world.
George Edwards was an English draughtsman and proficient ornithologist. He worked as the Librarian tothe Royal College of Physicians which eventually allowed him to pursue publishing his bird studies and drawings. Edward really drove the prominence of bird and animal illustration in his time and thus became known as ‘The Father of British Ornithology.’