Asplenium Ruta muraria; A. germanicum; A. septentrionale

ETTINGSHAUSEN, Constantin Freiherr Von (1826-1897), and POKORNY, Alois (1826-1886)

Published by Hof- und Staatsdruckerei, 1856
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'Nature printed' in brown ink, with titling and imprint in black, by the Vienna Hof- und Staatsdruckerei. A beautiful example from "most important work produced by nature printing ever published" (Stafleu). To the modern eye this plate has an almost photographic beauty to it, which, in aesthetic terms, foreshadows the work of the great early-20th century photographers such as Man Ray. However, this achievement is almost certainly incidental as von Ettingshausen's intention was to present a detailed anatomical portrait using the highly exacting method of nature printing. John Lindley writes "Attempts were long since made to obtain Botanical portraits by printing from the plants themselves, flattened and otherwise prepared for the purpose. The process of the Imperial Printing Office [Hof- und Staatsdruckerei] at Vienna, to which the name of Nature-Printing has been happily applied. is a great improvement upon the old method, inasmuch as it represents not only general form with absolute accuracy, but also surface, hairs, veins, and other minutiae of superficial structure by which plants are known irrespective of the hidden details of their hidden organization. Moreover, an exact copy in copper of the part to be represented being employed by the printer, instead of so fragile an object as the plant itself, we obtain the means of multiplying copies to the same extent as in copperplate engraving; and hence the method becomes suitable for purposes of publication." (Preface of 'The Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland. Edited by John Lindley. Nature-printed by Henry Bradbury') . The present plate was printed under the supervision of Alois Auer, the inventor of the nature printing process, at the Vienna state press. Von Ettingshausen, an Austrian botanist, palaeontologist and mineralogist, was a keen supporter of nature printing and published a number of other works using the process (the Bradley Bibliography lists 24 titles under his name). Pokorny worked with von Ettingshausen to improve the quality of nature printing and worked as a teacher and lecturer at various establishments in Vienna, lecturing on phytogeography at the university from 1857-1868. Cf. Fischer 69; cf. Hunt Printmaking in the Service of Botany (1986) 60; cf. Nissen BBI 613; cf. Pritzel 2756; cf. Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1723. Bookseller Inventory # 11102

Bibliographic Details

Title: Asplenium Ruta muraria; A. germanicum; A. ...
Publisher: Hof- und Staatsdruckerei
Publication Date: 1856

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MOORE, Thomas
Published by Henry Bradbury/Bradbury & Evans, London (1855)
Used Quantity Available: 1
Argosy Book Store, ABAA, ILAB
(New York, NY, U.S.A.)

Book Description Henry Bradbury/Bradbury & Evans, London, 1855. unbound. Botanical print. Nature-printed copper engraving with hand coloring. Page measures 21.5" x 14.25". This botanical print comes from Moore's series of ferns, which is regarded as one of the best examples of Victorian era nature-printing. Wildly popular at the time of its production, the image owes its exquisite delicacy to a nature-printing method called electrolysis, in which the actual plant was pressed into lead to make an imprint which was then transferred to a copper plate. This process allowed the most minute details and venations of leaves to be recorded, as this lovely image demonstrates. Featured here are wall-rue and spleenwort. This print is in good condition, with stains on the right and bottom edges and minor scattered foxing. "Plate XLI" printed in top right, "Nature Printing" in bottom left. Thomas Moore (1821--1887) was a British botanist who served as Curator of the Society of Apothecaries Garden for much of his life. His "Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland" was one of the first of the genre printed in England and is considered one of the finest examples of nature-printing ever produced. Please visit our gallery for more examples of Moore's beautiful work. Seller Inventory # 265533

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