This illustration is influenced by, and plays on the displays that would have been seen in Benjamin Rackstrow’s Museum in the late 18th century, including the “astonishing skeleton of a Spermi-Ceti Whale, measuring seventy-two feet in length”. Other themes include the early investigations into the field of archeology, which began from antiquarianism in the early 19th century; including such early figures as William Stukeley (7 November 1687 – 3 March 1765), and his investigations of prehistoric sites. Another influence is the belief expounded by Jacob Bryant (1715–1804) in his ‘A New System or Analysis of Ancient Mythology’ (1774–76, which claims the ancient existence of a giant race of people. While the text is typical of the period of the late 18th century, the illustrations are ofgraveconcern originals.
A Most Astonishing Phenomenon in Nature I. 1787
Recreation of titlepage with added historical elements. Printed on handmade paper resembling the look and feel of paper from the period the work was produced (8.5" x 11"), or textured watercolour paper (5"x7"). Printed with archival inks, and packaged in protective sheet and cardboard backing.