The "Beetle" Map
Subject: Northern Europe
Period: 1749 (circa)
Color: Hand Color
8.2 x 10.3 inches
20.8 x 26.2 cm
This fascinating map was originally drawn by George Edwards (1694-1773), an artist, naturalist and ornithologist who is most famous for his beautiful bird engravings published in his "Natural History of Birds" in 1743. Edwards' publication was immediately popular, and was subsequently republished in several editions, including this edition with the first word in the title (Itinera) curiously missing. The map shows Edwards' journeys between 1716-1730 to study his beloved birds and other natural creatures, including Holland in 1716 and again in 1730, Norway in 1718, and France from 1719-21. The map is embellished with several findings of natural history from his other travels abroad. At top is the large beak of an Egyptian Ibis. Below are two life-size drawings of stag beetles from Borneo in the East Indies. And at bottom is the Least Humming Bird from Jamaica with its egg, also drawn life-size. Edwards' interest in natural history was boundless and this wonderful map, with its curious combination of cartography and the natural world, is a rare and very attractive curiosity.
References: cf. Shirley (BI to 1750), Edwards 1.
Original color with minor soiling. Trimmed just inside the neatline at right as issued, with some loss of border, evidenced by the binding holes at right.