JF Ptak Science Books
J.G. Heck wrote and compiled a fascinating and complex work entitled The Iconographic Encyclopedia of Science, Literature and Art, which was published in the United States for the first time in 1851 following Spencer Baird’s translation from its original German. The artwork is detailed, and deep, fantastically controlled, and very instructive
- Heck, The Four Seasons. Original engraving, 12x;9 inches, in Very Good condition. Scarce. $125
The key to his work is the amount of data displayed on each of the 500 engraved plates illustrating this work and the way in which it is arranged. The design and layout of the 30,000 items on these 500 plates was a work of genius, and for my money it is easily the best-presented complex means of the display of data and objects that was published in the 19th century.
For example, in the plate above is displayed the progression of the seasons. It is a beautiful work--the original measuring about 12x9"--with great detail in the inset globes, which measure in the original only about 1.5:" in diameter. It is an excellent work of exactness and shading.