THE BUTTERFLY FISH print (Chaetodon Marginatus) 1758
"Marcus Elieser Bloch is to fish what James Audubon is to birds. The Ichtyologie is the most outstanding of all fish books…the high quality of the engraving, the meticulous attention to detail and the exquisite colouring immediately distinguish them." S. Peter Dance & Geoffrey N. Swinney Classic Natural History Prints – Fish. London, 1990.
Marcus Elieser Bloch (1723 – 1799), a doctor of medicine and famous naturalist, produced what is widely regarded today as the greatest fish book ever printed.
The twelve volume Natural History of Fishes of Germany and the Natural History of Foreign Fishes was published in Berlin (Naturgeschichte der Fische Deutschlands & Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische) and Paris (Ichtyologie, ou, Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière des poisons) between 1782 – 1797, with a total of 432 large-scale beautiful prints.
Each specimen was engraved on a copper plate and then painted by hand with watercolours. Many were heightened with gold, silver and bronze to reproduce the wonderful metallic sheen of the fish scales. The results are truly spectacular and the prints offered here are some of the most highly desired and collectable of all natural history illustrations.
(Ref: Nissen ZBI 415; Paepke: Bloch's Fish Collection 1999; Nissen, Schöne Fischbücher 22; Dean, Bibl.of Fishes vol.1 p138/9.)