A Curious Herbal

Hello all! It has been a busy summer and I have been remiss in my communications. Lots of doings at the shop and the Brooklyn Flea- lots of new merchandise to see. I will also be selling at the Brimfield Antique show up in Massachusetts from September 3rd- 8th.

I have to admit that I have been squirreling away some special prints over the past decade (and change) of buying and selling antique paper. It is not so much that I am a collector, but I have needed to take some time to become familiar with and fully appreciate this material.

My hope is to have some time (in the not too distant future) to sell these special prints on my own site…. I have too many great things to keep hidden for too long. Here is an introduction to some of the older botanicals in my collection. I would call these prints “artisanal” in modern parlance.

The above prints were produced by Elizabeth Blackwell for her publication “A Curious Herbal” in 1735. Blackwell was the first British woman ​to produce a Herbal and 
​​the first woman to engrave as well as draw plants. She compiled and published her hand drawn, engraved and coloured Herbal in order to raise funds to free her husband from debtors prison. If you would like to read more about her fascinating work, here’s a link to her Wikipedia page.

Another series of wonderful botanical plates from this period were produced by Johann Wilhelm Weinmann (13 March 1683 Gardelegen, Germany – 1741) Weinmann was an apothecary and botanist, and is noted for his creation of the florilegiumPhytanthoza iconographia between 1737 and 1745. This was an ambitious project which resulted in eight folio volumes with more than 1,000 hand-coloured engravings of several thousand plants. Weinmann employed the youthful Georg Dionysius Ehret as illustrator, who used a newly developed printing process involving mezzotint, which allowed greater detail and shading, and was finished by hand-colouring. Phytanthoza iconographia is highly regarded for the quality of its colour plates, and the accuracy of its images compared with previous herbals. Weinmann was greatly respected for his writings on medicinal plants and herbs, and Phytanthoza iconographia is recognized as the first important botanical work to use colour engraved prints.

Please contact us for availability and pricing.

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