Four Hand-Coloured Botanical Engravings From Hortu



United Kingdom

Hoarde Vintage Member since 2022
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These botanical etchings are taken from double-page fold-out illustrations in the magnum opus Hortus Indicus Malabaricus - a compendium of the medicinal flora of the Malabar Coast (today the Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Goa) compiled by the area’s Dutch Governor, Hendrik van Rheede in the latter half of the 17th century. It took almost thirty years for a team of around one hundred botanists, physicians, artists, and printers to gather information and depict these plants in 794 copperplate engravings across twelve volumes. Each plant is illustrated with its name in Latin, Malayalam, Konkani (Brahman), and Arabic.
These plates shows the palash tree or flame-of-the-forest, Butea monosperma; wild ginger, Zingiber zerumbet, also known as shampoo ginger and kattu inji; kasjou panel, Polyalthia korinti; and the water plant Ottelia alismoides, known as duck lettuce. As they are double-width pages in the original volume, the fold line is visible down the centre of each engraving.
Each frame: 50cm wide, 41cm high
Each picture: 44cm wide, 34cm high
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  • H: 41cm (16.14in)
  • W: 50cm (19.69in)



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