All the creepie-crawlies in colour…

Published in 1720, Eleazer Albin’s ‘A Natural History of English Insects’ contains hand-coloured copper plates and descriptions of mostly butterflies and moths, alongside the plants that sustain them.

Every page of Albin’s first major work jumps with life-like flowers, leaves, caterpillars, chrysalides, butterflies, moths and other small creatures. Without the backing of a great many subscribers, and the patronage of gardener and botanist Mary Somerset, Dowager Duchess of Beaufort, Albin, a former art teacher, would probably have been unable to fund such a work.

A Natural History of English Insects / 1720 (First Edition) / Printed for the author and sold by William and John Innys, £3,200

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