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THORNTON, Dr. [Robert John].
Eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 1769. Marchese Galiani Pinx. Sutherland Sculpsit.

Aquatint uncoloured as titled, IMAGE SIZE : c.55 cms. x 43 cms. SHEET SIZE : c.59 cms. x 49.2 cms. [VAT @ 20% within the UK]. With an old centre-fold, faintly browned at the margins of the fold, a very good copy.

*TOGETHER WITH a phial of ash with original label : Vesuvius - Ash rain of the eruption - (April 1906 : 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.) The glass phial is 13 cms. in length with the original printed label, lettered in red, sealed at both ends with a wax seal, the seal at one end chipped, overall in excellent state. Since the eruption of AD 79, Vesuvius has erupted around three dozen times. It erupted again in 203, during the lifetime of the historian Cassius Dio. In 472, it ejected such a volume of ash that ashfalls were reported as far away as Constantinople (760 mi.; 1,220 km). The eruptions of 512 were so severe that those inhabiting the slopes of Vesuvius were granted exemption from taxes by Theodoric the Great, the Gothic king of Italy. Further eruptions were recorded in 787, 968, 991, 999, 1007 and 1036 with the first recorded lava flows. The volcano became quiescent at the end of the 13th century, and in the following years, it again became covered with gardens and vineyards as old. Even the inside of the crater was moderately filled with shrubbery. Vesuvius entered a new phase in December 1631, when a major eruption buried many villages under lava flows, killing around 3,000 people. Torrents of lahar were also created, adding to the devastation. Activity thereafter became almost continuous, with relatively severe eruptions occurring in 1660, 1682, 1694, 1698, 1707, 1737, 1760, 1767, 1779, 1794, 1822, 1834, 1839, 1850, 1855, 1861, 1868, 1872, 1906, 1926, 1929, and 1944. The eruption of 5 April 1906 killed more than 100 people and ejected the most lava ever recorded from a Vesuvian eruption. Italian authorities were preparing to hold the 1908 Summer Olympics when Mount Vesuvius violently erupted, devastating the city of Naples and surrounding comunes. Funds were diverted to reconstructing Naples, and a new site for the Olympics had to be found. ROBERT JOHN THORNTON (17681837) was an English physician and botanical writer, noted for "A New Illustration of the Sexual System of Carolus Von Linnæus" (1797-1807) and "The British Flora" of 1812. He was the son of Bonnell Thornton and studied at Trinity College, Cambridge. Inspired by John Martyn's lectures on botany and the work of Linnaeus he switched from the Church to medicine. He worked at Guy's Hospital in London, where he later lectured in medical botany. After spending some time abroad, he settled and practised in London. Robert inherited the family fortune after the death of both his brother and mother but died in destitution, financially ruined by the commercial failure of his most extravagant work, The Temple of Flora. [SEE MUNK'S Roll of the Royal College of Physicians].

Published by Dr. Thornton. September 1st. 1808.

Date Published:

Stock No. 65061

Price: 2,500.00