A History of British Fishes c1870
Based on the drawings of famed Cornish naturalist; Jonathan Couch
Wood engravings with original colour, presented in ebonised hand-waxed frame. 'Spinous Shark'.
Jonathan Couch was a doctor in the tiny fishing village of Polperro, Cornwall. He studied at the united hospitals of Guy's and St. Thomas's and returned to Polperro, in 1810 where he was rarely to leave, dying on 13 April 1870, aged 81. Shrewdly taking advantage of his location be became a naturalist specialising in ichthyology and trained in succession of fishermen to aid him in his observations made at and near Polperro. This information was carefully collected and sifted, as to the habits of fishes. His own drawings gave unique representations of the vivid natural colours of fishes while alive or immediately after death. Couch said himself, ‘drawn from their native element, with their native colours fresh upon them’ From Couch’s vivid drawings prints were made, engraved on boxwood by Alexander Francis Lydon, and printed by Benjamin Fawcett, one of the country’s finest nineteenth century colour printers.