18th Century Botanical Prints

Decorative prints
18th Century Botanical Prints
Through the 1700s, there was an evolution of botanical illustration: it became more scientific rather than purely horticultural. At the pictorial level distinctive parts, such as the seed-head and the stamens as well as the whole plant, began to be depicted. As the century progressed there was also an evolution in the technologies of printing and paper making.


Copper engraving from Dissertatio de Generatione et Metamorphasibus Insectorum Surinamensium.: [Metamorphoses of the Insects of Surinam], by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717), first published in The Hague in 1705. Maria was the daughter of the engraver Matthäus Merian the Elder. This book illustrates the way caterpillars change into butterflies (and tadpoles into frogs). However, she also depicted the plants on which the caterpillars feed, making her plates equally interesting as botanical illustrations. This plate and the book it comes from are the result of her two years’ field work in Surinam. I Mutoer was the engraver. Image (up to plate-mark) 359 x 262 mm (14 1/8 x 10 ¼ in).


ZI  001 s Merian   Pomegranates

ZI 001 [No title] Butterflies, their caterpillars and pupa on pomegranates. Mounted in conservation material. Excellent condition. Fine hand colour. $A1700

Plates from Phytanthoza Iconographia sive conspectus aliquot millium tam Indigenarum quam et Exoticarum, ex quattuor mundi particus ….. plantarum, arborum, fruticum, florum, fructuum, fungorum etc….  [Iconography of plants or survey of some thousand plants, trees , fruits, flowers, fungi etc, both native or exotic, from the four corners of the world] edited by Johann Wilhelm Weinmann, a prominent apothecary and botanist, Regensburg, Germany, 1736 – 45.
The plates were drawn by Georg Dionysius Ehret and engraved by Bartholomew Seuter and Johann Elias Ridinger. The book is highly regarded for the quality of its colour plates, and the accuracy of its images as well as its technical innovations : a printing process involving mezzotint, which allowed greater detail and shading, and one of the earliest examples of colour printing. The plates were finished by hand-colouring. 323 x 215 mm. Excellent condition.



PW 033s

PW 033 Brassica…plate n262. [Two leaves and a flower of the cabbage family and a caterpillar] $A 200.

PW 040s

PW 040 Dipsacus Sativus plate N467. [Teazles]. $A 300.

PW 035s

PW 035 Esula Amygdaloides plate N492. [Euphobia] . Very good condition, slight discoloration towards the lower edge. $A 125.

PW 042s

PW 042  Esula seu Cataputia Minor plate N490. [Three species of Green Spurge]. $A 400.

PW 041s

PW 041  Cinara Maxima plate N388. [Artichoke].  Excellent condition except for slight foxing in upper margin. $A 300.

PW 038s

PW 038  Angelica Baccifera Canadensis, plate N137.  [Angelica plant, seed-pod and seeds.]  $A 150


PW 037s

PW 037  Acetosa Rotundifolia, plate N19.  [4 species of Sorrel]  $A 125

PW 034s

PW 034  Faufel Pinas plate N502. [Areca nut palm].  $A 300.

PW 039s

PW 039  Campoides… plate N295.  [3 species of Balsam, including Arabian Gum plant]  $A 125