‘Glossopetrae’ [Tongue stones]

Title: ‘Glossopetrae’ [Tongue stones]

Creator: Pietro Santi Bartoli (1635-1700) from a drawing by Agostino Scilla (1639-1700)

Description: Plate 3 from ‘De corporibus marinis lapidescentibus quae defossa reperiuntur’, Romae: Typis Antonii de Rubeis (1747) which contains the first Latin translation of the Italian painter Agostino Scilla’s only palaeontological (and heavily influential) work ‘La vana speculazione disingannata dal senso’ [Vain speculation undeceived by sense] (1670) in which he argued that fossils were not the magical objects many believed them to be but were petrefactions (that is fossils) of once living organisms.

The image is of ‘Glossopetrae’ literally ‘Tongue stones’ which Scilla (amongst others during this period) identified as fossilised shark’s teeth.

Date: 1670 reproduced in 1747

Format: Engraving

Image reference: 04-55

Recommended print size: Up to A4 (30 x 20cm)

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