• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7560

    Furniture and Carpets Including Two Private Collections

    24 January 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 215

    A SET OF THREE BOTANICAL ENGRAVINGS FROM HORTUS EYSTETTENSIS

    BY BASILIUS BESLER (1561-1629)

    Price Realised  

    A SET OF THREE BOTANICAL ENGRAVINGS FROM HORTUS EYSTETTENSIS
    BY BASILIUS BESLER (1561-1629)
    Depicting Tulips, Narcissi and Snakeshead Frittillary and Nerion Flore rubrio respectively, each hand-coloured with latin inscriptions, in a fluted giltwood later frame with beaded border, the reverse with Ursus Prints label
    27½ x 24½ in. (70 x 62 cm.), including frame (3)


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    The Hortus Eystettensis is a pictorial record of the flowers grown in the greatest German garden of its time, that of the Prince Bishop of Eichstätt, Johann Conrad von Gemmingen (d.1612). At the Willibaldsburg castle, his seat above the river Altmühl, the Prince Bishop had constructed eight separate gardens, each with its own gardeners and each filled with flowers from a different country; in tulips alone he boasted of 500 colours. The great German botanist, Joachim Camerarius the Younger, served the Prince Bishop as advisor on the garden's early design and on his death in 1598 a Nuremberg apothecary, Basilius Besler (1561-1629) took on the role. It was Besler who had the garden immortalised in detailed and delicate engravings for the year-round enjoyment of his patron and for posterity in the Hortus Eystettensis.

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    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Ursus Prints, 981 Madison Avenue, New York.