Metamorphosis of Saturnia Prometheus Plate 12

William Jardine

JAHA012.13

Spectacular 1841 hand colored engraving of two gorgeous moths and an amazing Caterpillar, highlighted in Gum Arabic

From William Jardine's Naturalist Library

Note: Leaves and background colored

Place and date: London, 1841

Paper size: 6 3/8" x 4"

Condition: A

  • Price: $50.00 { What determines value? }

    Many factors go into pricing a print; rarity, desirability, artist, condition, age, and the history of former sales prices.


    “Weeds & Roses” A good analogy for how the pricing of a print is determined from desirability is my description of "Weeds and Roses". It actually works with a number of publications from Audubons to Atlases. 

    O.K., let's take a complete first edition set of Audubon's Birds of America- 435 Plates, printed by Robert Havell. The Wild Turkey & The Flamingo will be the “Roses”, they are the major plates. These images are usually more desirable making them the most expensive, in upwards of $200,000.

    The Song Birds or "Tweety" birds are the minor plates, or "Weeds". These images are usually less desirable making them less expensive, as low as $2,000.

    However, not everyone prefers roses over weeds. Just because one is more expensive does not mean it is more beautiful to you. Art is a personal preference and you should always go with what stands out to you :)