1751 Diderot Large Antique Print of Sea Coral - Polypiers

Cartographer : Denis Diderot


This beautifully hand coloured original antique print of sea Coral was drawn by Francois Nicolas Martinet and engraved by Robert Benard (fl.1750-1785) - responsible for most of the engravings of the French edition of Cooks voyages - and published for Denis Diderot's (1713-84) Encyclopedia in 1751.

This was a landmark work of the Enlightenment that depicted nature, the arts and sciences, and the tools and methods of artisans and trade people in a methodical and thorough way. The entire encyclopaedia was published between 1751 and 1772, and comprised 17 volumes of text and 11 volumes of plates.

The marvellously detailed plates show how everything in the period was made. It had a huge impact on its own time, and is highly valued by present-day historians as a record of the techniques and vocations of the pre-Industrial world. It is also a great resource for collectors, art and craftspeople.  

Francois Nicolas Martinet was a French engraver and draughtsman. In 1756 he was working for the court of France as Graveur du Cabinet du Roi, under the auspices of the Menus Plaisirs du Roi, making engravings after drawings by others of such subjects as the May Ball at Versailles during the Carnival of 1763. At the same time Martinet produced illustrations for plays or comic operas by such contemporaries as Marmontel, Voltaire and Philidor. Some of these he engraved himself, while others were drawn by him but engraved by his sister Thérèse Martinet (born c. 1731). He is best known for his engravings of birds for Comte de Buffon's, Histoire Naturelle Des Oiseaux published in Paris from 1770-86. He also engraved portraits, landscapes and genre scenes.

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color: - off white
Age of map color: - Early
Colors used: - Blue, yellow, green
General color appearance: - Authentic
Paper size: - 15 ½in x 10in (395mm x 255mm)
Plate size: - 14in x 9in (355mm x 230mm)
Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)

Margins: - Light age toning
Plate area: - Light age toning
Verso: - Light age toning