George Shaw and Frederick Nodder
The Naturalist's Miscellany 1789-1813

George Kearsley Shaw (1751-1813) had a distinguished and varied career in the sciences. After university, he practiced medicine, then went on to teach as lecturer of botany at Oxford University. In 1791, he became assistant keeper (and later full keeper) of the natural history department of the British Museum.  He was a member of both the Linnean Society and the Royal Society.  Concurrent with his other activities, Shaw published several scientific works:  Zoology of New Holland (1794), General Zoology or Systematic Natural History (1809-1826) and the Naturalist's Miscellany: or, Coloured Figures of Natural Objects; Drawn and Described Immediately from Nature (1789-1813). For the publication of the periodical Naturalist's Miscellany, Shaw collaborated with Frederick Polydore Nodder (1770-1800) who was responsible for the distinctive illustrations in the work. Nodder was an English flora and fauna illustrtor; also an accomplished copperplate engraver whose considerable artistry and skill endow the illustrations with a life-like quality which stand out in stark contrast to the dry, scientific renderings of dead animal specimens that predominated in that era. The hand-colored plates for the Naturalist's Miscellany are prized by collectors for their true to life qualities and are becoming increasingly harder to find as the supply vanishes.


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