Mark Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida & the Bahama Islands

Just twenty sets of Mark Catesby's renowned and pioneering masterpiece, The Natural History of Carolina, Florida & the Bahama Islands are available this year of celebrations marking HM the Queen's 90th birthday.  Click here for the event at Windsor Castle programme.  There will be official and grass-root events and celebrations throughout the Commonwealth. See also..

Click here to receive an illustrated brochure and full details about how to acquire a copy of Mark Catesby's Natural History of North America.

The first illustrated record of the flora and fauna of North America - Catesby's distinguished masterpiece The Natural History of Carolina, Florida & the Bahama Islands - has been reproduced as a limited edition and is now published to mark the 300th anniversary of the arrival in 1712 of naturalist and artist Mark Catesby in the New World.

Only fifty facsimile copies of Catesby's collection of 265 watercolours are currently in existence, with the originals held in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle. The last twenty sets of this exclusive edition are being hand-bound into four-volume sets together with Catesby's own introduction and his text for each image. A blind-embossed chop incorporates the Royal Collection's publishing mark with the year of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee. The plates for each image were purposefully destroyed after the print run was complete, reinforcing their lasting significance and historical value.

Mark Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida & the Bahama Islands

Each volume is fully bound in red leather in a similar style to the bindings which once housed the original watercolours, and the volumes are hand-tooled with gold leaf on both the spine and the covers. The front cover also carries King George III's Royal Cypher. A preface by the Royal Librarian, Jane Roberts, and Catesby's original text for each image has been included, as well as a title page, an index, and a map of Carolina, Florida and the Bahamas.

The Natural History of Carolina, Florida & the Bahama Islands limited edition sets provide the opportunity to rediscover the age of enlightenment through the wonder of art, and view the natural world through the eyes of one of the age's most eminent naturalists.

Each of the 265 images has been hand-printed, one colour at a time, using the stochastic lithographic process, that replicates the meticulous precision and vibrant colours of the original.

    ....... This is as great an enterprise as the celebrated Banks Florilegium.....The Book Collector, Spring 2016

Scholarly advice on Catesby's text has been provided by Leslie K. Overstreet, Curator of Natural History Rare Books, Smithsonian Libraries. In addition extensive indexes of Catesby's original and common names and their modern name equivalent appear in the fourth volume. Identification of the illustrated plants and animals is by the late James L. Reveal, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University.

Click here to receive an illustrated brochure and full details about how to acquire a copy of Mark Catesby's Natural History of North America.

Mark Catesby painting - 'Blue Gross Beak' Mark Catesby painting - 'Buffalo and psuedu acacia' Mark Catesby painting - 'Butterfly and moth' Mark Catesby painting - 'Cacao tree'