Little is known about Benjamin Wilkes, a friend invited him to a meeting of the Auriealn Society and here he first saw specimens of butterflies and moths, the arrangement and colours of which struck him ‘with amazement’. This convinced him that nature would be his ‘best instructor’. He spent 10 years collecting, studying and drawing these subjects and brought out his first publication in 1742 entitled: Twelve new designs of English Butterflies. The English Moths and Butterflies was a larger and more ambitious work containing 120 detailed coloured plates. The first edition was undated but probably produced in 1749, it was popular enough to warrant a further two editions in 1773 and in 1824.
The English Moths and Butterflies Together with the plants, flowers, and fruits whereon they feed and are usually found. XXXI. The Goat-Moth. The Willow
Benjamin Wilkes The English Moths and Butterflies Together with the plants, flowers, and fruits whereon they feed and are usually found. XXXI The Goat-Moth. The Willow London, Benjamin Wilkes, 1824 Engravings with original hand colouring 280 x 220mm