The Old Print Shop

James Ferguson, F.R.S.

  • ARTIST: John Townsend

  • PUBLISHER: Printed for Robert Stewart Engraver, & Modeller of portraits in Wax No 15 Millman Street Bedford Row Holburn.

  • MEDIUM: Mezzotint,

    DATE: 1776

  • EDITION SIZE: Image size 12 7/8 x 9 7/8" (32.8 x 25.1 cm) plus margins.

  • DESCRIPTION: John Townsend pinxt. As the Act directs. December y 27th. 1776. First of three states. Scratch letter proof. Sitter's name “James Ferguson F.R.S.” written in ink. <br><br> James Ferguson (1710–1776) - Scottish self-taught astronomer, instrument & globe maker and artist. He was a highly successful lecturer on experimental philosophy and science. Elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society (F.R.S.) in 1763. He is particularly remembered as an inventor and improver of astronomical and other scientific apparatus. These include a new type of orrery, clocks, and his astronomical rotula. His lectures and books were noted for their clear explanations for a general audience, and Astronomy Explained upon Sir Isaac Newton's Principles and Made Easy for Those Who Have Not Studied Mathematics (1756) was a bestseller. Benjamin Franklin was a friend and scientific collaborator. Little is known of the artist, John Townsend (active 1776-78) or the engraver Robert Stewart, (active 1776-86).


  • CONDITION: Fair to good condition. Small section of left margin replaced. Vertical crease on left. Period handcoloring.

  • REFERENCE: Russell, "English Mezzotint Portraits" pp. 320-321. First of three states.

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