It has been said that “February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March.'
Browse our antique botanicals to fill your head with reveries of Spring.
We start with citrus since southbound winter travels may take you by orange and lemon trees. Ferrari used unfurling ribbons to identify the lemons, limes and oranges he depicted in the mid 17th century in the earliest book devoted to citrus. Volckamer took up the theme again a half a century later but included fascinating details of gardens and palaces in Germany, Austria and Germany. In addition to fruit, Weinman included trees, flowers, vegetables, cacti and succulents and these fabulous daffodils. Hill's work was fittingly entitled Eden; or, A Compleat Body of Gardening. As the extended title states, its 60 engravings of plants included illustrations to accompany instructions for “the art of constructing a garden for use and pleasure.” In 1839-43, Berlese worked with a team of talented engravers to create the definitive monograph on camellias. Thornton put a new spin on botanical illustration with his romantic and exotic settings. Also in the early 19th century periodicals began to be created with beautifully engraved prints of flowers such as the work we feature by Penelope of Maandwerk.
Hollie Powers Holt and Denise DeLaurentis
Giovanni Ferrari. Hesperodes... Rome, 1646
Johann Christopher Volckamer. Nurnbergische Hesperides... 1708-14
Johann Wilhelm Weinman, Phytanthoza Iconographia. 1737-42
John Hill. Eden... London, 1756-57
Abbe Laurent Berlese. Iconographie... Camellia. Paris 1839-43
Robert John Thornton. Temple of Flora. London, 1812
A.B. Meerten. Penelope of Maandwerk. Amsterdam, 1822-35.