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Collection of the Guild of St George, Museums Sheffield
The Freshwater Fishes of Great Britain
book
Date Made/Found: 1828
Author: Sarah Bowdich , British, 1791 - 1856
Artist: Sarah Bowdich , British, 1791 - 1856
Publisher: Rudolph Ackerman , 1764 - 1834
Printmaker: J Moyes
Material and Medium: book, leather bound. Watercolour illustrations
Dimensions: Overall (when closed): 361 x 308 x 32mm
Department: Ruskin
Accession Number: CGSG03943
At the time this book was published, there were few books available about the natural history of fish. It was even rarer for such publications to be by women. The publication itself is particularly unusual in that Bowdich hand-painted its illustrations individually for each book, rather than mass-producing them via engraving. As she aimed to produce very accurate detail in each copy it was time consuming to produce, and she only made about 50 copies. In her introduction she tells her readers that to capture the fish's colours before they faded she made her drawings directly on the riverbank, with an assistant catching more fish to replace ones which discoloured in the dry air. To recreate the glimmering fish scales she used gold and silver paint mixed in with her watercolours.
Display Location: In Store
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