'The Sharp Nosed-Ray', 1785-1788.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand-coloured engraved plate 80 by Ludewig Schmidt, drawn by Kruger Jr, after a drawing by Marcus Bloch (1723-1799), from his 'Ichthyologie', a work on the natural history of fish, (Berlin, 1785-1788). Bloch's famous work set out to describe and illustrate the fish of the then known world. Its remarkable plates are heightened with silver and gold to imitate the sheen of fish scales. Interest in fishing as a leisure activity was growing and Bloch was helped by many individuals who sent him fish from all over the world.