Cupid, Flora, Ceres, and Esculapius, Honouring the bust of Linnaeus.
London, R. Thornton, 1799. Broadsheet (44.7 x 31.5 cm). Printed on one side.
A beautiful allegoric mezzotint, in which the Greek gods pay tribute to Carolus Linnaeus. The source of this plate is Robert John Thornton's Temple of Flora. One of two variants, this one stating Russell R.A. and Opic R.A. pinx't; and Ridley sculp't., and dated May 1 1799 (i.e., from the FIRST edition of Thornton's work). In the second edition of Thornton's work, the caption was altered into Aesculapius, Flora, Ceres, and Cupid honouring...". that edition was engraved by Caldwell (Soulsby, 3154). Provenance: from the library of the Swedish herpetologist Richard Wahlgren (1946-2019). On its verso, Wahlgren wrote, in pencil, Argosy NY 29/9 06 $85. Left margin a bit uneven; some, mostly marginal foxing; a short tear and a small damp-stain at the lower edge, otherwise a very good copy. Pritzel, 9236; Soulsby, 3153.