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).
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 033 Brassica…plate n262. [Two leaves and a flower of the cabbage family and a caterpillar] $A 200.
PW 035 Esula Amygdaloides plate N492. [Euphobia] . Very good condition, slight discoloration towards the lower edge. $A 125.
PW 041 Cinara Maxima plate N388. [Artichoke]. Excellent condition except for slight foxing in upper margin. $A 300.