Set of 20 Black & White 18th Century Botanical Prints

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"HERBORIUM AMBOINENSE Published 1741. By Georg Eberhard Rumphius. Copper plate engravings.

Rumphius is best known for his authorship of Het Amboinsche Kruidboek or Herbarium Amboinense, a catalogue of the plants of the island of Amboinia (in modern-day Indonesia), published posthumously in 1741. He provided illustrations and descriptions for nomenclature types for 350 plants, and his material contributed to the later development of the binomial scientific classification by Linnaeus. His book provided the basis for all future study of the flora of the Moluccas and his work is still referred to today. He was a member of a scientific society in Vienna, and even sent a collection of Moluccan sea shells to the Medicis in Tuscany.

After going blind in 1670 due to glaucoma, Rumphius continued work on his six-volume manuscript with the help of others. His wife and child were lost to an earthquake shortly after. In 1687, with the project nearing completion, the illustrations were lost in a fire. Persevering, Rumphius and his helpers first completed the book in 1690, but the ship carrying the manuscript to the Netherlands was attacked by the French and sank, forcing them to start over from a copy that had fortunately been retained. The Herbarium Amboinense finally arrived in the Netherlands in 1696. However, "the East India Company decided that it contained so much sensitive information that it would be better not to publish it." Rumphius died in 1702, so never saw his work in print; the embargo was lifted in 1704, but then no publisher could be found for it. It finally appeared in 1741, thirty-nine years after Rumphius's death.

Framed in gessoed mounts with white gold bevels and gessoed and painted frames. All mounts and backing are acid free museum board.
Place of Origin
Date of Manufacture
18th Century and Earlier
Materials and Techniques
Printed paper gessoed card mount
gessoed painted timber frames
19.88 in. H x 15.16 in. W
51 cm H x 39 cm W
Dealer Location
London, United Kingdom
Number of Items
Reference Number
Julia Boston
588 King's Road
London SW6 2DX
+44 3333441398
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1stdibs Dealer since 2009 Located in London, GB
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