Clark, John Heaviside

Antique aquatint of Turtle Catching on Land

Antique aquatint: Turtle Catching on Land

DESCRIPTION: First edition of this scarce hand-colored aquatint from 1813 by John Heaviside Clark (1771-1836) in "Foreign Field Sports, Fisheries, Sporting Anecdotes…". In this fine engraved print a ship's crew loads large sea turtles aboard a small boat in order to bring them to their waiting ship. On long voyages fresh meat could run out aboard ship so these turtles would have provided a valuable source of nourishment. In addition, the turtles could be kept alive until needed, solving the problem of maintaining a fresh supply of food in an era without refrigeration.

In an anecdote accompanying the plate, the author explains how the turtles are caught:
"The turtle catchers, from the month of September to January, repair to those parts of the coast which the turtles mostly frequent, and watch them on shore, where they deposit their eggs in the night-time. The usual way is, to turn them quickly on their backs, not giving them time to defend themselves, by throwing up sand with their fins; which they can do with such force as sometimes to blind their assailants. … When the turtles find it impossible to escape, they utter a sort of sigh and are said to shed tears."

Published by Edward Orme from Bond Street London, on July 1, 1813. A very similar plate to this one, purchased at the same time bears a watermark of 1811.

CREATOR: Clark, John Heaviside



BODY OF WATER: Pacific Ocean

CONDITION: Good.  Clean inside the image with some staining at the bottom margin (near the binding) and one small repaired marginal tear, both well away from the image. Will frame nicely.

COLORING: Neat restrained original hand color.


SIZE: 8 " x 6 "


PRICE: $145


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