Mark Catesby. “The Rattle Snake.” From Gentleman’s Magazine.
London: Edward Cave, 1753. 4 ¼ x 7 ½ (image). Copper engraving. Original hand color. Small ¼ inch portion of printed surface at bottom missing and in-painted. With light transference of text from preceding page. Else, good condition.
Following the death of Mark Catesby in 1749, interest in his pictures of American flora and fauna continued beyond issuing reprints of his original plates. The most unusual and scarce are the woodcuts and engravings that appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine in the early 1750s. Frick and Stearns have stated that Edward Cave, the editor, “found Catesby’s birds and plants worth printing [thus] demonstrated a popular interest in these things, which, in the form in which they were first published, were beyond the financial capacities of most men.” Mark Catesby: The Colonial Audubon, p. 100. This print represents an early editing of Catesby’s work.