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Calamentha officinalis. The Common Calamint of the Shops. Plate 167 from A Curious herbal, containing five hundred cuts, of the most useful plants which are now used in the practice of physick

by Blackwell, Elizabeth (1707-1758)

  • Artwork £75.00
  • Artwork Availability : In stock
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  • Catalogue No : 38112
  • Published : 1737-1739
  • Cover : Artwork
  • Pages : 238x371mm

Description:

Elizabeth Blackwell's ’A Curious Herbal’ is known for its attractive illustrations and for the unusual story associated with its publication, described by Blunt and Stearn (1994) as ‘a little drama of heroism, intrigue and torture which seems strangely out of place in the sober chronicles of botanical illustration’.

Elizabeth was born in Aberdeen in about 1700 and moved to London after she married Alexander Blackwell. To raise money to pay her husband's debts she undertook an ambitious project to produce an illustrated herbal. Much of her work was based plant specimens in the Chelsea Physic Garden, in London. She was the first British woman to produce a Herbal, and is noted for undertaking the drawing, engraving and hand colouring the plates herself to reduce the cost of production. The Herbal was issued in weekly parts between 1737 and 1739, each part containing four illustrated plates and a page of text. The work was highly praised by leading physicians and apothecaries of the day.

Due to the financial success of the Herbal, Elizabeth’s husband was released from prison. He later left for Sweden where he became involved in a conspiracy to alter the Swedish succession, for which he was threatened with torture and was executed.

Condition

Unmountd, orginal hand coloured engraved plate. Short closed tears to margin of plate. Light inoffensive spotting. Vg.

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