Blackwell, Elizabeth (illus).
circa 1731- 1739.
Hand colored engraving, plate size 12 x 8 inches on sheet 17 3/4 x 11 inches. A few faint foxing marks to lower margin (outside plate area), overall very good condition. Plate 172 from Elizabeth Blackwell's "A Curious Herbal" published in London between 1731 and 1739. A beautifully designed image of the culinary herb garden parsley with roots, leaves and details of the flower. THIS IS FROM THE LARGE PAPER EDITION of this work, a deluxe publication with wide 2 inch margins (since the rag paper used at the time was an expensive commodity, the use of these large sheets was something of an extravagance; in fact the images do look particularly fine in this setting.) Mrs. Blackwell had taken on the task of producing an up-to-date illustrated text of medicinal plants for the purpose of extricating her husband from debtor's prison. Producing the original watercolors, engraving the plates and then handcoloring the engravings, Blackwell raised the money to regulate her husband's affairs, but to little avail since he became involved in a political plot in Sweden and was beheaded there in 1747. The title was republished in Germany some 20 years later, but the British edition is the first edition, and the only edition with the engraving and coloring done by the artist. The British Library website features illustrations from the copy of this publication that belonged to King George III. Item #42184