Sign In

- Or use -
Forgot Password Create Account

Very Rare. No Others Located.

Rare copperplate engraving of a Sperm Whale, which was seen on  March 5, 1761, stranded 4 leagues from Boulogne-sur-Mer on the the Northwest Atlantic Coast of France.

This 1761 engraving presents a detailed depiction of a sperm whale, stranded on the shores near Boulogne-sur-Mer on March 5, 1761. Created by Valentin Cary in Boulogne, the illustration is both scientifically informative and artistically executed.

The primary image showcases a large sperm whale with an open mouth, revealing its distinct teeth. The whale's body is meticulously detailed, with various parts labeled to provide anatomical information. The coastline in the background features buildings and natural formations, giving context to the whale's location. The sea in the foreground is populated with ships, illustrating the maritime environment.  The following information is set forth in the key:

A. The tongue whose shape was similar to a large sack filled with liquid
B. Nostrils 1 foot 6 inches long
C. Cavity on the head 3 feet long
D. Eyes 8 inches in diameter
E. Fin 3 square feet
F. Lower jaw with 24 teeth on each side that fit into the sockets of the upper jaw
G. Navel shape 9 inches
H. Genital organ 6 feet in length and 11 inches in diameter at the top
I. The tail is 9 feet wide

The print is dedicated to His Excellency Nicolas René Berryer, comte de La Ferrière, then Secretary of State for the French Royal Navy (1703-1762).

Condition Description
Engraving on 18th-century laid paper. Faint toning.