Blackwell, Elizabeth (illus).
circa 1731- 1739.
Hand colored engraving, plate size 12 x 8 inches on sheet 14 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches. Faint offset to lower right image, 2 pinhole sized spots just under title, a few spots on verso (not affecting image). Very good condition. Plate 319 from Elizabeth Blackwell's "A Curious Herbal" published in London between 1731 and 1739. The image shows the flower with botanical details of the culinary herb marjoram. 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 #42185