CATTON, Charles (1728-1798) . -Six Animals, Drawn from Nature, and Engraved in Aqua-Tinta. New Haven: Reprinted by S. Converse, for H. Howe, 1825.

$ 5,800.00

CATTON, Charles (1728-1798) . -Six Animals, Drawn from Nature, and Engraved in Aqua-Tinta. New Haven: Reprinted by S. Converse, for H. Howe, 1825.

Folio (16 x 10 inches). First American edition - originally published in London in 1788. leaves of text printed on rectos only; images uncolored; includes Table of Contents and Order in which to Arrange the Plates; plates interspersed with letterpress descriptions; bound in contemporary half leather, repaired, contemporary label on front board, rubbed, contents somewhat worn and foxed, preliminaries repaired.

Provenance: The Estate of David Spinney.

An extremely RARE copy of Catton book (Worldcat lists one copy only at the New York Historical Society). Contains thirty-six subjects depicted include lions, tigers, bears, elk, antelope, deer, wolf, hyena, badger, otter, armadillo, peccary, porcupine, hippopotamus, crocodile, and others. Prints of exotic animals drawn and engraved by the British artist Charles Catton, who employed the aquatint print making process to replicate the subtle gradations and fluidity of watercolor painting. Printed for the instruction of children. Although the title of the work claims that the animals were "drawn from nature," they evidently were captive animals in England which Catton placed in invented settings. The compilation groups the prints according to related species (cat family, antelopes, etc.) and accompanies each print with a one-page description written by Catton. The lion and the lioness are among the first prints in the publication, as Catton explains, "The Lion, Being universally esteemed king of the forest, deserves a pre-eminence of station; we therefore introduce him first to notice."
Charles Catton Jr. (also known as Charles Catton the Younger) was a British painter, draftsman, etcher and engraver, known for his architectural, topographical, landscape and animal subjects. Born in London, his first teacher was his father Charles Catton, an artist and Royal Academician who served as heraldic painter to King George III. The younger Catton then studied in the Academy schools and traveled throughout England and Scotland sketching the scenery; some of these were published as prints. He frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1775 and 1800. In addition to Animals Drawn from Nature (1788), Catton is known for his illustrations, in collaboration with Edward Burney, of an edition of Gay's Fables, which were exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1793 and then published. His last Academy exhibition was in 1800. Catton amassed enough wealth during his career to bring his family to the U.S. and purchase land in the Hudson Valley around 1802, where he spent the rest of his life, apparently mainly in retirement. However, he did exhibit at the American Academy several times between 1816 and 1827.
For more information on this book, or a warm welcome to see other books and maps of our collection at 72nd Street NYC, please contact Natalie Zadrozna.