4 June 2003
GERMAN SCHOOL. A collection of original botanical drawings on paper, unsigned. [Germany: after 1888].
113 unbound leaves of variously coloured paper (each 415 x 290mm), comprising 107 original watercolour drawings and 6 original pencil drawings, inscriptions beneath each image in ink, in a single German hand, giving the Latin botanical binomial, the common German name (where applicable), the name of the botanist who first described the species and, in most cases, the country of origin. Unbound within a modern green cloth box, with green morocco lettering-piece lettered in gilt.
An attractive collection of highly accomplished watercolours depicting flowers from the Americas, Australia, China and the Far East as well as Europe. The geographical scope of the subjects is wide-ranging. The collection includes at least 36 examples of plants from the Americas (the majority from South America), 16 from Australia and New Zealand, 17 from China, India and the Far East and 12 from Africa, the majority of these from South Africa. Orchids figure quite prominently (particularly amongst the American plants) as do Acacias amongst the Australian plants. The artist mentions Sir Isaac Balfour (1853-1922) in connection with a species from the island of Socotra and as Balfour published his Botany of Socotra in 1888, this can be assumed to be the earliest possible date for the execution of these drawings. (113)
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