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This striking, originally hand-colored folio engraving is from Marcus Elieser Blochs Ichthyologie, ou Histoire Naturelle Generale et Particuliere des Poissons. The work was published in Berlin between 1785 and 1797.
Ichthyologie is noted as “… the finest illustrated work on fishes ever produced. The plates, by a variety of artists and engravers, are outstandingly coloured, and are heightened with gold, silver, and bronze to produced the metallic sheen of fish scales.” (Nissen)
Bloch was a medical doctor before he became fascinated with fish later in his life. He collected several of his own specimens to produce this famous work which described over 200 species of fish.