JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
There's a track on this blog located in the feebly-named category "Looking Closely/Deeply at Prints" were tiny bits and pieces of engraved artwork are exhumed for closer story, like passing a paper microscope over the image to draw out the semi-invisible and show the secret life of prints. Often what this entails is some very curious work by the artist and/or the engraver as they sought to spice up a rudimentary architectural assessment of Salisbury Cathedral, or the town hall in Munich, or some sort of ruin in Surrey, or a street scene along old Broadway in NYC--and they would do this sometimes by including something artful and small, and completely unnecessary to the primary image on which they were working.
See this post for a good example (with other links) of this.
So, instead of having a few people in the street outside of Cathedral X to show the building to some sort of scale, the artist/engraver might include in their very tiny detail images of children fighting, or a legless beggar, or a pocket-thief, or a tripping aristocrat. Or a man rounding a corner with a baby coffin on his shoulder.
What happens here then is an intended-unintentional, sort of like an 18th century snapshot of Something that captures stuff of the daily grind in the process--and as it happens it is this stuff, the activities and the people doing the mundane chores of the 18th century that turn out to be the very interesting bits of the artwork. After all, it was this sort of invisible activity that would tend not to be preserved in artwork or other visual documentation--but here it is, locked away in an architectural appreciation of some building Y in some city Z. And we are lucky for the contrivances of those long-asleep artisans.
But the Zoomology posts are something a little different than this--they simply are a deep observation of an interesting detail in an antiquarian print or photograph that shows an artwork in and of itself, a sort of descending fractal of appreciation. And simple.
The first sample in this quick-posting category is the sea anemone, or Zoophyte (old school classification), that we see in this series of images (above and below) from the great and prolific Abraham Rees (who must have had a team Rees, a group of scholars like the Bourbaki who worked together mostly anonymously save for the (in this case real) man whose name is given credit for the entire work) and engraved in 1813. The image in question is a flustra bombycina, a Verme (according to the obsolete Linnaen taxonomy), and it just called out for deeper inspection:
And the zoom-out to the full image: