Johann Michael Seligmann (1720-1762), a German publisher, issued a nine volume compilation of the work of the Englishmen Mark Catesby (1683-1749) and George Edwards (1694-1773). Our collection is focused on plates based on the work of Edwards.
Edwards was, like Catesby, one of the pioneers of natural history documentation and is known as the "Father of British Ornithology." His marvelous A Natural History of Birds (London: 1743-51) was produced almost single-handedly: Edwards not only wrote the text for the book but also made the drawings, etched the plates and hand colored the prints to be bound in each volume.
Seligmann began issuing his ambitious series just a few years after Edwards and Catesby published their works. The text was translated into German, and Seligmann produced all new plates based on the images of the two Englishmen. In bringing these masterworks to the continental audience, Seligmann has earned himself a place in natural history circles, and his charming prints, reflecting well on their sources, stand as another respected source for 18th-century natural history documentation.