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A rare book of dried New Zealand ferns sells for $1,100

New Zealand Ferns by T. Cranwell – sold for $1,100

A very rare Victorian book containing dried New Zealand ferns has sold for $1,100 on the AbeBooks.com marketplace

New Zealand Ferns by T. Cranwell, from Parnell in Auckland, was published around 1877 and contains 30 pages of carefully mounted ferns. The front and rear covers are made from Kauri wood and the spine is leather.

The bookseller who sold the item, Ann Parson from Epilonian Books in Manhattan Beach, California, reported the 138-year-old ferns “were in very good condition.”

There is only one other copy of this book for sale on AbeBooks, offered by a bookseller in Holland for just over $2,000. Another copy can be found in the State Library of New South Wales in Australia. There appears to be few details about the identity of T. Cranwell but a copy of his book did reach Kew Gardens in London.

The silver fern is an iconic emblem associated New Zealand that appears in many areas of Kiwi life from the $1 coin to its cricket and rugby teams. There is also an on-going debate about whether it should be adopted as the nation’s flag – rather like the Canadian maple leaf.

A dried fern from New Zealand Ferns

Only one other copy of this book is available for sale

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