antique prints, maps and watercolors

Pl. XL Ferns of Great Britain...London: Bradbury, 1855-57. $1,050.00

click for detailed image BradburyFRVLG.jpg

"Asplenium viride"

This wonderful, unusually large antique print of a fern was included in a series that is referred to interchangeably as the Moore series of ferns, after the British gardener and botanist who cultivated a large collection of the plants in a public garden in Britain and wrote the accompanying text to the book, and the Bradbury ferns after the man who popularized the technique of nature printing that he used to produce the spectacular images.

Ferns were one of the plant manias that gripped Europe in the middle of the 19th century. While the plants are easy to find in the woodlands of Great Britain, they were difficult to cultivate in gardens and more urban areas, so plant enthusiasts set to work growing as many different varieties as they could and botanists busily classified them. 

Nature printing involved the use of the plant itself to create the image. The specimens were pressed into lead and the image was transferred by electrotype to a copper plate, printed and hand colored. The technique captured amazing detail of the veins, fronds, roots and stems. There is an actual three dimensionality to them.

21 ½ x 14 ¼ inches, sheet.
Nature printed in green and brown ink.
Excellent condition.

Framed to museum specifications with beautiful white gold (silver) molding.