The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, June 24, 2018

Christie's New York to Offer Five Centuries of Botanical Books in June

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s presents the sale of Important Botanical Books on June 24 featuring many of the most significant medicinal herbals and fine illustrated botanical books from the 15th through the 19th century. Over 200 works, including many of the most celebrated in the history of the field, document the development of the scientific and artistic studies of plants throughout these four centuries. What distinguishes these works from other scientific books are the quantity, and John Hill, The Vegetable System, London, 1773-1786 Estimate: $200,000-300,000 outstanding quality, of illustrations they contain, from the earliest woodcut illustrations of the 15th century to the many extensive of hand-colored illustrations of the 18th and 19th centuries. The present collection comprehensively reveals the development of the simultaneous pursuit of artistic representation and scientific accuracy.

The sale features the earliest printed herbal to include a series of plant illustrations: the Herbarium Apulei, Rome, circa 1481-82 (estimate: $50,000-70,000). This is the only copy to appear at auction since an imperfect copy was sold in 1955. This book was one of the most widely used, and most practical, remedy books of the middle ages. It describes 131 plants, giving a multitude of prescriptions for maladies, ranging from madness, paralysis, dysentery, fertility, stomach ache and ulcers, to antidotes for various poisons. Of similar rarity is Macer Floridus's De viribus herbarum carmen, Milan, 1482 (estimate: $30,000-50,000). Though not illustrated, it is considered the first printed herbal, with poems describing the medicinal and dietary properties of 77 herbs.

The Renaissance saw an immense increase in botanic study and publication. Perhaps the most celebrated botanical work ever printed, Leonhard Fuchs's De historia stirpium, Basel, 1542 (estimate: $60,000-80,000) provided the first comprehensive study of plants and opened up the field to broader, and more specialized, study. The sale includes a superb copy of the first edition in a contemporary binding, as well as a copy of the first German edition, published one year later, and several pocket editions that were intended for use in the field.

Within a short period, botanical texts were being published throughout Europe. Notable contributors and contemporaries of Fuchs to the advancement of botany included in the sale are Hieronymus Bock’s De stirpium commentariorum libri tres, Strassburg, 1552, (estimate: $8,000-12,000) and Otto Brunfels’s Herbarum vivae eicones ad naturae imitationem, Strassburg, 1531-36 (estimate: $12,000-18,000), and the next generation of scientists, from the great Flemish botanist Rembert Dodoens to Italy's Pietro Andrea Mattioli. Mattioli's translations of the classical texts of Dioscorides became the most widely disseminated botanical books of the period. Perhaps the most renowned edition, Vincenzo Valgrisi’s 1568 Venetian edition, is included in the sale in very rare colored state (estimate: $12,000-18,000). Perhaps even rarer are two of the original wooden blocks used to print the illustrations in this edition.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, botanical illustration reached new heights of lavishness and precision. Elizabeth Blackwell was a pioneering figure, being among the first women to publish color-plate books of such fine execution and beauty. Blackwell’s A Curious Herbal, London, 1737-39, (image left- estimate: $15,000-20,000) records numerous unusual plants from around the world and was undertaken to pay off the debts of her husband, whose London printing-house had been ruined by rival printers. Some 20 years later began publication of John Hill's The Vegetable System, London, 1759-86, (estimate: $200,000-300,000) a monumental work containing over one thousand two hundred hand-colored engravings. Not only is it the largest botanical publication of the eighteenth century, it is also of great scientific importance, being the first to give in the vernacular a comprehensive treatment of the plant kingdom and to adopt the Linnaean system. The tradition established by publications such as Hill's was carried into the nineteenth century. Regional and focused studies of specific plants were made, such as Francesco Manuel Blanco's Study of the Flowers, Fruits and Trees of the Philippines, Flora de Filipinas, Manila, 1880-83, (estimate: $30,000-40,000) that contained nearly 500 chromolithographs. The sale of Important Botanical Books illuminates the great eras of botanical illustration and discovery, where science and natural beauty entwined.

Christie's | Macer Floridus | Leonhard Fuchs | Elizabeth Blackwell | Francesco Manuel Blanco |

Today's News

May 31, 2009

Fondation Beyeler Opens Exhibition Including Works by Alberto Giacometti and His Family

Stanley William Hayter's Surrealist and Abstract Prints on View at the National Gallery of Art

Seventy-five of the Most Prestigious Galleries in Paris will Open for an Exceptional Evening

Eames-inspired Mobile by Martin Boyce Acquired for Leeds Art Gallery with Help from The Art Fund

Sea Lovers will Delight in Yale Center for British Art Exhibition of Marine Paintings

Arts Organizations Across the UK Win Funding to Develop Leaders of Tomorrow

Guggenheim in Venice Celebrates the Memory of Robert Rauschenberg with Exhibition

First Presentation of the Batliner Collection at Albertina in Vienna

PHotoEspaña 2009: Matadero Madrid Shows Video Installation Made by Íñigo Manglano-Ovalle

First Sundays for Families Down by the River: Unveiling the Museum Reach

Then & Now: An Exhibition of Selections from the Utah Museum of Fine Arts' Permanent Collection

Everson Museum of Art Announces 2009 Recipient of Everson Medal

First Major Retrospective for Aldwyth Opens at the Ackland Art Museum

Denver Art Museum Presents Charles M. Russell Retrospective, Opening in October

Viva Mexico! Edward Weston and his Contemporaries Exhibition Opens in Boston

Vancouver Art Gallery the Only North American Museum to Present Exhibition by German Photographer Andreas Gursky

The Feelies to Kick Off a Series of Indie-Rock Concerts and Special Events at the Whitney

Famed Painter Chuck Close Named 2009 Aspen Institute Harman-Eisner Artist in Residence

Christie's New York to Offer Five Centuries of Botanical Books in June

Dia Art Foundation Presents a Series of Outdoor Events at the Hispanic Society of America's Audubon Terrace

Students Convey Their Perceptions and Ideas About Their Neighborhoods at Dallas Museum of Art Exhibition

Philbrook Museum of Art Trades Tulips for Tomatoes

Columbia Museum of Art Announces New Board Members at Annual Meeting

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Related Stories

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Christie's New York wraps 2012 with over $163 million in jewelry auction sales

Christie's sale of masterpieces formerly in the Collection of Monsieur and Madame Riahi realises $31.9 M

Christie's presents a week-long series of auctions devoted to magnificent jewels, watches, wine and design

Christie's Launches Spring 2011 Season of Post-War and Contemporary Art with First Open

Most Important Peploe Ever to Come to Auction Leads Scottish Colourist Paintings at Christie's

Extravagant Official Publishing Entreprise Leads Christie's Auction of Books and Manuscripts

Christie's Celebrates American Artistry and Craftsmanship with Exceptional Offerings

Christie's International Leads the Market for Watches in Europe, Asia, and the America's

Important 20th Century Decorative Art and Design Works Shine at Christie's New York

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful