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The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd.Natural History

Botanical Prints

Botanical illustrations were created not just as part of the pursuit of scientific knowledge
but also as objects of considerable aesthetic beauty.

[ Besler | Currier & Ives | Grandville | Hooker | Michaux | Poiteau | Pomologie Belge | Redouté ]
[ Selection of miscellaneous botanical prints ]


J. J. Grandville. [1867].

Grandville's whimsical 'Flowers Personified.' Octavo. $125 to $135.

Botanical gifts
Botanical prints for gifts.

A selection of small botanical prints appropriate for gifts. $40 to $100

Pomologie Belge icon
Annales de Pomologie Belge . . . 1854.

Handsome lithographic fruit prints. Large quarto. $225 to $300.

Basil Besler. [1613].

Superbly decorative prints from a seventeenth century herbal. Large folio. Ca. $1,800 to $3,800

Bradbury icon
Henry Bradbury. 1855.

From Thomas Moore's Ferns of Great Britain & Ireland. Folio; sheet size 21 1/2 x 14. Nature printed intaglio prints. $475 to $650

Verschaffelt Camellias
Ambroise Verschaffelt's Camellias 1851.

From Nouvelle Iconographie des Camellias.... $300 to $325

Pierre Joseph Redouté. 1801-24.

Exquisite prints by the greatest name in botanical prints. Folio and quarto. $450 to $3,000.

Joseph Dalton Hooker. 1849-51.

Images of the rhododendrons of the Eastern Himalayas. Folio. Ca. $600 to $850.

Michaux Red Ash
Michaux's North American Sylva . . . 1817 & 1856.

Handsome stipple engraved and lithographic prints of North American trees. Octavo. $65 to $200.

Currier and Ives
Currier & Ives. 1835-1907.

Fruit and flower prints issued by America's printmakers. $300 to $450

Watercolor icon
Anonymous watercolors. Ca. 1880-1920

Delicate and detailed watercolor drawings of North American plants. Quarto. $40 to $65.

Poiteau fruits
Pierre-Antoine Poiteau. 1846.

From Pomologie Française. Exquisite stipple engravings of fruits. $525 to $850

Selection of botanical prints

Mattioli: Cucurbita
Pietro Andrea Mattioli. "Cucurbita." From de Materia Medica. Venice: 1554. Folio. Latin text. Woodcut. Later hand color. Very good condition. $450

The first edition of the "grand Mattioli" was published in Italian in 1544 and the first Latin edition in 1554.

Mattioli: Poma Adami
Pietro Andrea Mattioli. "Poma Adami." From de Materia Medica. Venice: 1554. Folio. Latin text. Woodcut. Later hand color. Very good condition. $450

The first edition of the "grand Mattioli" was published in Italian in 1544 and the first Latin edition in 1554.

Mattioli: Medica Malus
Pietro Andrea Mattioli. "Medica Malus." From de Materia Medica. Venice: 1554. Folio. Latin text. Woodcut. Later hand color. Very good condition. $450

The first edition of the "grand Mattioli" was published in Italian in 1544 and the first Latin edition in 1554.

Mattioli: Pomi di Adamo
Pietro Andrea Mattioli. "Pomi di Adamo." From I Discorsi... nelli sei libri di Pedacio Dioscoridi Anazarbeo della materia medicinale. Hora di nuovo dal suo istesso autore ricorretti, & in più di mille luoghi aumentati. Venice: Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1568. Folio. Woodcut. Later hand color. Light discoloration at right, into image. Else, very good condition. $450

From the second of the Valgrisi Venice editions of the "grand Mattioli" with the full series of the magnificent large woodcuts and the first Italian edition so illustrated. The first edition was published in Italian in 1544 and the first Latin edition in 1554. The first Valgrisi edition of 1565 is the first containing Mattioli's fuller notes.

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Emanuel Sweert (b. 1552). From Florilegium. Amsterdam: Anthony Kempner, 1612. 13 1/4 x 8 1/2 (plate mark). Folio. Engravings. Full hand color. Excellent condition.

"One of the first and most famous . . . of the florilegiums was published in the Netherlands in 1612 by the Dutchman Emmanuel [sic] Sweert. It has no text other than a catalogue of the 'illustrated plants' in Latin, German, French and English." [Lys de Bray: The Art of Botanical Illustration, p. 47]. These beautiful and colorful botanical images are fine examples of the genre of the florilegium. Though much of the information contained in works of this type was not original, the composition of the illustrations is extremely pleasing, and Sweert's work was no exception. Aside from aesthetic merit, this work served also as a sale catalogue, published with notice that plants could be purchased at the author's shop in Frankfurt-am-Main. [Blunt and Stearn: The Art of Botanical Illustration, p. 104] Many of these illustrations were second-generation copies from a 1608 pattern-book for embroidery by Pierre Vallet. Overall, Sweert's florilegium an excellent illustration of seventeenth century intersections between natural history, printmaking, and decorative arts.

Other plates from this series are also available. Call or email for more information.

Munting: Herba Viva Chinensis
Abraham Munting (1626-1683). "Herba Viva Chinensis Arborescens." For Pytographia Curiosa. Amsterdam: 1702-13. 12 7/8 x 8 1/2 (plate mark) Folio. Full text and margins. Hand color. $325

This print is from one of the classic and most beautiful series of botanical illustrations done in the Seventeenth Century. Munting selected new plants that were brought to Europe from around the world by European merchantmen who enjoyed them for their color, their fragrance and their medicinal properties. Being the age of Baroque art the draughts men and engravers would have spontaneously added ribboned titles and aesthetically beautiful landscapes to make the prints more pleasing than the kind of black and white wood engravings that had preceded these in the Medieval Period of illustration.

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Johann Christoph Volckamer. Print from Nurnbergishe Hesperides. Nuremberg, 1708-1714. Approx. 12 3/4 x 8 1/4. Copper engravings. Lovely hand color. Very good condition.

These are superb examples of one of the most sought after and unusual series of botanical prints from the eighteenth century. At that time, structures known as orangeries came into fashion. Wealthy Europeans sought to grow and keep warmer climate plants, such as citrus and even palm trees, throughout the year. The potted trees could be transferred into these greenhouses to avoid the harsher, northern winters. These beautiful prints by Johann C. Volkcamer illustrate types of the then newly popular citrus fruit in delicate detail. Encircling the fruit are baroque ribbons naming each of the varieties. The large fruit hang serenely in the foreground over exquisite landscapes, country houses, and gardens. Most of the which were located in and around Volckamer's home of Nuremberg as well as northern Italy. The whole effect is somewhat surreal, yet still highly reflective of eighteenth century European taste.

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Elizabeth Blackwell. From A Curious Herbal. London, 1737-1739. 11 3/4 x 7 3/4 (plate mark). Folio. Engravings with original hand-coloring. Full margins.

A group of vivacious fruit and flower prints by Elizabeth Blackwell, one of the most famous early eighteenth-century botanical illustrators. Mrs. Blackwell lived a memorable life, having produced her charming Herbal (1737-9) to get her decidedly unpredictable husband out of debtor's prison. As the story goes: "...she took a lodging near the Chelsea Physic Garden and set about making the drawings and engravings which have made her famous. From his prison cell Alexander assisted with the text; and so successful was their joint venture that two years later he was released." (Wilfrid Blunt, Art of Botanical Illustration, p. 136) Unfortunately the story does not end here because Mr. Blackwell was subsequently arrested for treason in Sweden and executed. These appealing prints live on to remind us of Blackwell's remarkable story, as well as existing in their own right as an important part of the herbal tradition being the first English botanical series and the first to be hand colored. They were later reissued by the well-known botanical scholar Christoph Jakob Trew from 1747 to 1773 in Germany. All in all, a charming and fascinating series of botanical prints.

Other plates from this series are also available. Call or email for more information.


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From Johann Wilhelm Weinmann's Phytanthoza Iconographia Sive Conspectus. Ratisbon: Hieronymum Lenzium, 1739. 12 3/4 x 8 1/2 (plate mark). Etching and mezzotint by Johann J. Haid and Seuter. Printed with colors and finished by hand. Full margins. Very good condition.

These prints are from one of the most diverse and comprehensive series of early fruit and flower prints, issued by Johann Weinmann in the first part of the eighteenth century. The subjects are beautifully drawn and rendered with vivid color. These prints are particularly interesting as early examples of color printing. The copper plate was prepared with etched outlines and mezzotinted interior tones. The images were then printed in color from the plates, and each was delicately finished with hand coloring. A large number of the drawings were done by Georg D. Ehret, one of the greatest eighteenth century botanical artists. This is a famous group of high-quality eighteenth century botanical prints.

Other plates from this series are also available. Call or email for more information.

Thornton: Dragon Arum
Peter Henderson. "The Dragon Arum." From Robert John Thornton's Temple of Flora. London: R.J. Thornton, 1801. State III of IV. 17 3/4 x 13 3/4. Mezzotint by Ward with aquatint added to this state. Printed in colors. Very good condition.

A dramatic print from Dr. Thornton's justifiably famous Temple of Flora. Designed as a grand tribute to the Swedish botanist, Linnaeus, this work of large sized floral prints is considered by many to be the most magnificent such work ever produced. Each print was the result of a mixture of elaborate engraving processes. They were first printed in color and then finished by hand, making it one of the earliest works to use this method.

The prints have a bold, dramatic impact unlike any other, the result not only of the superb engraving and coloring, but also from Thornton's use of 'classical' landscapes in the backgrounds. The early strikes of these prints have a tactile quality that makes the flowers rise up from their background almost into three dimensions. With their varied and striking backgrounds, rich texture and color and imposing size, these are prints unlike any others, and this is an excellent example from this superb series. $1,800

Andrews: Rose 17
H.C. Andrews. Plate 17. "Rosa Provincialis blanda." From Roses: or Monograph of the Genus Rosa: Containing Coloured Figures of All the Known Species and Beautiful Varieties, Drawn, Engraved, Described, and Coloured, from the Living Plants. London: H.C. Andrews, 1805. Quarto. 10 1/2 x 8 1/2 (image). Engraved and hand colored by H.C. Andrews. Excellent condition. Extremely rare.

According to Gordon Dunthorne, in his Flower & Fruit Prints of the 18th and early 19th centuries, little is known about H.C. Andrews other than his address at 5 Knightsbridge, and his proficiency and prolificacy as an engraver, colorist and author of five series of botanical publications. As with all his works, these images were drawn, engraved and colored by Andrews alone. Andrews' Roses was the last of his botanical seriesAll of his hand colored engravings are desirable both for their fine details and their rarity. Images from the Roses are the most rare. These are exquisite and extraordinary images. (Dunthorne, item 12.) $675

We have more prints from Andrews' Roses. Please call or email for more information.

Richard Corbould. "Botany." From Encyclopædia Londinensis or, Universal dictionary of arts, sciences, and literature. London: J. Wilkes, March 1, 1805. Ca. 10 x 7. Stipple engraving with some line work, by J. Chapman . Hand color. With light sticker mark in bottom margin. Very good condition.

In the era of Enlightenment, books of knowledge, like Encyclopædia Londinensis, took on a new importance and nobility in the scope of book publishing. Organized by printer, bookseller, and stationer John Wilkes (1750-1810, of Milland House, Sussex), the detailed, informative work reflects his experience as a newspaper proprietor and co-head of the British Directory Office. Fine artists like Richard Corbould were employed to draw allegorical prints to embellish the volumes. Though Wilkes died in 1810, publication of the Encyclopædia continued until around 1829 in London. Exalting the pursuit of knowledge, its allegorical prints draw on neo-Classical vocabulary to confer nobility on the studies of the arts and sciences, such as geography, botany, painting, and others. In classically-draped garments, female figures pose amid Roman architecture and artifact, employing the tools of investigation specific to their discipline. Along with its finely-rendered botanical illustrations, scientific diagrams, and detailed maps, these allegories made Encyclopædia Londinensis an extraordinary work of aesthetics and education. This allegory represents the science of botany. $250

Brookshaw: Grapes
George Brookshaw. Plate 26. [Green Grapes]. From The Horticultural Repository. London: Sherwood, Neely & Jones, [1820]-1823. Quarto. 9 3/8 x 5 (image). Aquatint. Full original hand color. Very good condition.

This print is from a charming small series of fruits by Brookshaw, who is best known for his larger series of fruits, Pomona Britannica . . ., published in London from 1804-1812. This smaller series of 98 engravings of edible fruits and nuts was issued periodically until complete in July 1823. Completed after Brookshaw's death, the anonymous editor of the final fascicle said, "It is hoped . . . that the present work . . . will . . . form a suitable monument to [Brookshaw's] genius and talent." Indeed, they do. $225

We have more prints from Brookshaw's Horticultural Repository. Please call or email for more information.

Planson: Carnations
J.A. Planson. Plate 38. [Four Carnations]. From Iconographie du Genre Œillet ou Choix des Œillets les Plus Beaux et Les Plus Rares... Paris: Crapelet, 1845. 12 1/2 x 9 (platemark). Etching. Full rich original hand color. Very good condition.

This charming and richly colored series of carnations prints truly captures the essence of each flower in full bloom. The subjects are beautifully drawn and rendered with vivid color. The concern for scientific detail and accuracy is nicely balanced with an attention to aesthetics. The combined attraction of the scientific detail, the familiarity of the subjects, and the decorative and cheerful floral images make these prints unique and desirable. $450

We have more prints from Planson's Iconographie du Genre Œillet . . .. Please call or email for more information.

GoGo to list of other Currier & Ives botanical prints.


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Mrs. Jane Wells Loudon. From The Ladies' Flower-Garden of Ornamental Perennials. London: William Smith, 1843. Quarto. Lithographs by Day & Haghe. With excellent original hand color. Full margins. Fine condition.

A bright and wonderfully decorative set of prints from Mrs. Loudon's famous Ladies' Flower Garden. Designed both as an instructive work to educate the cultured woman and as a visual delight, the prints nicely achieve both aims. Delicately lithographed and cheerfully hand colored, the flowers are arranged in attractive bouquets. These are indeed fine examples of the high quality craft of the nineteenth century.

We have more prints from this series. Call or email for more information.


Watercolor by Ellen Robbins. From the portfolio Autumn Leaves. Watertown, Massachusetts, middle of the nineteenth century. 12 1/2 x 10 3/4. Very good condition.

Ellen Robbins was a watercolorist and art teacher born in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1828, and died in 1905 in Boston. Robbins was mostly self-taught and she specialized in paintings of flowers and other still lives. She often painted on the Island of Shoals, off the New Hampshire coast, where she was able to visit the garden and home of the poet Celia Thaxter. She achieved considerable attention for her watercolors of autumn leaves, which she often put together into bound albums for sale. Later she advertised in Boston newspapers as "Miss Robbins' Flower and Autumn Leaf Painting Classes." Her watercolors achieved even further recognition when Louis Prang issued a number of chromolithographs based on them.

Paul Crillon Barton. "Arthemis Cotula." [Wild Chamomile]. From Vegetable Materia Medica of the Unites States or Medical Botany, containing a botanical, general and medical history of medicinal plants indigenous to the United States. Philadelphia: M Carey and Son, 1817-18. Quarto. Engravings by Tanner, Vallance Kearney & Co. Fine condition. Rare.

William P.C. Barton (1786-1856) published a highly ambitious treatise on the medical vegetables and plants of the United States in 1817. Barton was a former student of the naturalist Benjamin Smith Barton. The illustrations in Vegetable Materia Medica were engraved after drawings by the author and were later hand-painted by Barton and others. Some copies were left partially or totally uncolored. Barton, a botanist, naval surgeon, and professor at the American Medical College in Philadelphia, sought to promote "the advancement of national science" by encouraging Americans to examine and describe the botany of their own William country, rather than leaving it to European naturalists. Theses rare prints are indeed beautifully engraved and colored. This series as a whole is one of the earliest and most important American color plate books. $250


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