Science: Books and Manuscripts

Science: Books and Manuscripts

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 17. De La Beche | Awful Changes, lithograph, 1830.

De La Beche | Awful Changes, lithograph, 1830

Lot Closed

May 25, 01:25 PM GMT


700 - 900 GBP

Lot Details


De La Beche, Henry

Awful Changes. 1830

Lithograph, 257 x 316mm., depicting a lecture by "Professor Ichthyosaurus" discoursing on a human skull ("...the skull before us belonged to some of the lower order of animals..."), captioned "H.T. de la Beche del. & lith. 1830"

A CARICATURE FROM THE EARLY DAYS OF PALAEONTOLOGY THAT IMAGINES PRE-HISTORIC LIFE REBORN. The geologist Henry de la Beche (1796-1855) was well-known for his lively sense of humour and sketched many caricatures. This image lampoons Charles Lyell and his uniformitarian theory of geological change expounded in Principles of Geology ("...Then might those genera of animals return, of which the memorials are preserved in the ancient rocks of our continents. The huge iguanodon might reappear in the woods, and the ichthyosaur in the sea, while the pterodactyl might flit again through the umbrageous groves of tree ferns...")


William Buckland, DD, FRS (1784-1856); thence by descent