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Elizabeth Blackwell "Lily of the Valley" 1747

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Directory: Fine Art: Prints: Engravings: Pre 1800: item # 1118575

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Elizabeth Blackwell "Lily of the Valley" 1747
"Polygonatum et Sigillum Salomonis"

From the "Herbarium Blackwellianum, Selectum sive Collectio Stirpium or Sammlung der Gewache," N.F. Eisenberger, illustrator, C.J. Trew, editor.

Elizabeth Blackwell's book "A Curious Herbal" (from which this print was drawn) was published in England between 1737 and 1739. The book was conceived as a botanical reference work on medicinal plants (an herbal) for physicians and apothecaries but it was also undertaken as a means of earning income for her personal support and for the purpose of buying her husband's freedom from debtor's prison. The "Curious Herbal" was an artistic and financial success and she ultimately secured her husband's freedom from prison but that part of it was for naught as he was later executed in Sweden for his part in a political plot.

The German, or second edition, was released twenty years after the English first edition. It was edited and produced by the noted German physician, botanist and publisher of botanical books, Christopher Jacob Trew. The plates were copied by N.F. Eisenberger based on Blackwell's original images but are much more carefully drawn, engraved and colored and it is generally recognized as artistically superior to the original edition. Quite rare.

Folio, 14 x 9 overall measurement, hand-colored copperplate engraving, left edge slightly uneven from disbinding will mat out, couple small foxing marks otherwise excellent condition, Nurenberg, 1747. References: Nissen 169; Great Flower Books, p.50; Dunthorne 43; Stafleu TL2 546.


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