C1814

Penis and Uterus, Ornithorynchus paradoxus

Artist:

William Clift (1775 - 1849)

Rare engraving from the published lectures of Evard Home. Everard Home the distinguished anatomist gave lecturers on the Platypus at the Royal SOciety in July 1800 and December 1801 from the preserved skin that Governor Hunter had sent to Joseph … Read Full Description

$A 275

S/N: LOCA-131-ANI-AA–226327
(DRW 01)
Free Shipping

Within Australia

All orders ship free
within Australia

Rest of the World

Orders over A$300
ship free worldwide

See Shipping page for Terms & Conditions

Details

Full Title:

Penis and Uterus, Ornithorynchus paradoxus

Date:

C1814

Artist:

William Clift (1775 - 1849)

Condition:

In good condition.

Technique:

Copper engraving.

Image Size: 

190mm 
x 240mm

Paper Size: 

190mm 
x 335mm
AUTHENTICITY
Penis and Uterus, Ornithorynchus paradoxus - Antique Print from 1814

Genuine antique
dated:

1814

Description:

Rare engraving from the published lectures of Evard Home. Everard Home the distinguished anatomist gave lecturers on the Platypus at the Royal SOciety in July 1800 and December 1801 from the preserved skin that Governor Hunter had sent to Joseph Banks in 1798. This was the first example to be seen in England.

The first description and known sighting was from a captured animal in November 1797 by David Collins on the Hawkesbury River. When the first skin sent by John Hunter, reached Europe it was thought to be a hoax and during the nineteenth century is was suspected that it lay eggs, but it was not until 1884 that final proof was obtained.

1797 First sighting and capture November

‘….. made up the whole catalogue of anumals that were known at this time, with the exception which must now be made of an amphibious animal, of the mole species, one of which had been lately found on the banks of a lake near the Hawkesbury.

1798 First published account Blumenbach

Bertuch in volume 3 of his Bilder Buch fer Kinder published in 1798, contained an illustration of the Platypus, (Plate LXIV) and inluded a description and used the classified name given by the German naturalist, Johann Blumenbach’s, which had not been published by Blumenbach at that time. Blumenbach had classified the Platypus as Ornithorhynchus paradoxus and published his description and illustration in his Abbildungen naturhistorischer Gegenstande, v.5, no.41 in 1800 two years later than Bertuch’s. Blumenbach had been unaware that George Shaw had already given it the name Platypus anatinus. However, Platypus had already been shown to be used for the scientific name for a genus of Ambrosia beetles so Blumenbach’s scientific name for the genus was used.

1799 Shaw’s description 

‘…Of all the Mammalia yet known it seems the most extraordinary in its conformation, exhibiting the perfect resemblance of the beak of a Duck engrafted on the head of a quadraped. So accurate is the similitude, that, at first view, it naturually excites the idea of some deceptive preparation by artificial means… Shaw’s description was considered until recently to be the first.

1800 Not a Hoax

Of this most extraordinary genus the first description appeared in the Naturalist’s Miscellany; but as the individual there described was the only one which had been seen…… Two more specimens, however, having been very lately sent over from New Holland, by Governor Hunter, to Sir Joseph Banks, the suspicions before mentioned are now completely dissipated.

 

Common names             Platypus, duck-billed Platypus

Modern binomial name Ornithorhynchus anatinus

First described                Shaw 1799
 
Distribution                      SA, VIC, TAS, NSW & QLD

Reference                        The Mammals of Australia, Strahan, 2nd edition. p.36-38 ill.36,38

Biography:

William Clift (1775-1849) 

Clift was apprenticed to John Hunter the celebrated physcian as an anatomical assistant at his house in Leicester Square, on 14 February 1792, employed to make drawings, copy dictation and assist in the care of Hunter’s anatomical specimens. Until Hunter’s death in 1793, Clift assisted him with dissections and often wrote from dictation from early morning until late at night. 

William Clift was well known and highly thought of in the scientific community. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1823. His skills as an illustrator were demonstrated through his work for Matthew Baillie’s “A series of engravings… to illustrate the morbid anatomy of some of the most important parts of the human body,” and also his work on illustrations in Sir Everard Home’s numerous papers in the Philosophical Transactions.

Choose currency

Exchange rates are only indicative. All orders will be processed in Australian dollars. The actual amount charged may vary depending on the exchange rate and conversion fees applied by your credit card issuer.

Login

Register

Search

The List

Join our exclusive mailing list for first access to new acquisitions and special offers.