These original antique engraving are from a wonderful work on beetles by Thomas Martyn (1735-1825), and were made in London in 1793. The set it is from was titled "The English Entomologist, exhibiting all the Coleopterous Insects found in England" and featured the first illustrations of many beetle species.
Thomas Martyn is renowned for the excellent quality of his plates. In order to achieve this he founded the 'Academy for Illustrating and Painting Natural History', a group of talented youngsters who helped him produce some of the finest natural history works ever made, such as 'The Universal Conchologist' probably the most beautifully illustrated work on shells.
His work on beetles is rarely seen on the open market. The only set we are able to locate is advertised at over US$10,000 for the 42 plates.
Whilst the beetles may look small in our scans, in real life the detail on the engravings is exquisite. We have had one his engravings framed. The patterns of tiny beetles appears to be very eye catching to most people, who approach it saying things such as "what is that" and are amazed by the detail and coloring.