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2018-04-24T06:27:19.503Z
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"[John] Gould (1804–1881) [photo], one of the most prolific ornithological artists of the 19th century, had a romantic enthusiasm for winged creatures, as well as a passion for natural history and an impulse to catalog. Drawing on his outstanding scientific and artistic talents, he embarked on a series of projects that would eventually make him the leading publisher of ornithological illustrations in Victorian Britain. Gould’s unparalleled career spanned five decades, during which he produced a series of books depicting birds from all over the world." [source]
The images below were sourced from the first two volumes of Gould's seven volume series on Asian birds.


species name: Syrnium ocellatumcommon name: Mottled Wood-Owllocale: NW India [info]



Phodilus badiusOriental (or: Asian) Bay OwlSE Asia [info]


'Armée Française : Nouvel Alphabet Militaire'Text by Pierre Léon VanierIllustrations by Henri de Sta
This 1880s book - obviously aimed at young people - offers satirical portrayals of various branches and uniforms of the French military and each chromolithograph is accompanied by a page of descriptive text.




A is for Artillery



B is for Brigadier



C is for Cuirassier^



D is for Dragoon^



G is for Gendarme



J is for Justice and...
Early 19th century hand-coloured engravings of heath flowers

The vast majority of the 860+ species in the genus Erica (heaths/heather) are endemic to southern Africa. Plants from this genus don't respond well to being dug up and relocated and very few specimens were seen in Europe before the late 1700s. Discovery voyages eventually included botanists and specialist plant collectors and handlers. They could successfully preserve, dry or nurture Erica species and their parts, enabling samples to survive the rigours of a three month sea voyage to Europe.

An indication of the proliferation over time of African species of heather in Europe can be seen in this graph of ~publications on Erica species. The first large peak corresponds to the array of heath plants described in the book series from which the illustration plates below were selected.

By way of clarification: the Ericaceae family consists of two very similar genera: Erica (aka winter heather; and more likely called heath) and Calluna (aka summer heather, consisting of one species, Calluna vulgaris, from which the many popular heather varietals - domestic shrubs - have been bred). The species depicted below are from the Erica genus.

'Coloured Engravings of Heaths' by HC Andrews is a 4-volume series from the early 19th century (seen below), and is particularly noteworthy because...
These woodblock illustrations of falcon training come from a mid-1860salbum called 'Ehon Taka Kagami' (~The Illustrated Mirror of Falconry)
"Kawanabe Kyôsai (Gyôsai) (1831-89) was a Kano painter, printmaker, and illustrator, the son of a Samurai. At the age of six he entered the studio of Utagawa Kuniyoshi^, and from the age of nine became a student of the academic Kano school, studying under Maemura Towa and then Tohaku Chinshin, who gave him the name "Toiku". He exhibited at the Vienna International Exposition in 1873, and at the first and second Paris Japanese Art Exhibitions of 1883 and 1884. In the early years of the Meiji period (1868-1912) he attained considerable popularity with his political caricatures, for which he was arrested and imprisoned in 1870. His famous 'Kyosai Gadan' (1887), an attempt to show a variety of traditional Japanese and Chinese painting styles, was widely appreciated in Europe, and was issued with English captions for the export market.

Kyosai's 'Ehon Taka Kagami' is the major resource on Japanese falconry, with wonderful woodcuts of hawks, field work, breeding, hoods, gloves, and other associated tools and items of equipment. It records the ancient Japanese methods of care, raising, and training of the Siberian Goshawk, considered the best variety for use in falconry since ancient times. Harting 371. Schwerdt III p. 245; see G. Schack. Kyosais...
This striking set of hand-painted botanical and insect prints was produced by Johanna Helena Herolt, a lesser known member of the 17th c. German-Dutch Merian family of artists.

The Merian dynasty of artists really began in Switzerland with Johanna Helena Herolt's grandfather, Matthäus Merian the Elder (d. 1650), a renowned engraver and publisher who married into the equally talented de Bry family of Frankfurt artist-printers. Herolt's mother was only four years of age when her father died, but with encouragement from step-father artist, Jacob Moreel, Maria Sibylla Merian [link] pursued a highly successful career in Europe and South America as an artist-scientist. She married (and later divorced) German portraitist and still life artist, Johann Andreas Graff (d. 1701),

Maria Sibylla Merian produced ground-breaking depictions of insect life cycles with associated plants, and her two daughters (including Johanna Helena Herolt, née Graaf) were intimately involved in the design, engraving and colouring of her mother's book illustrations. Herolt's other principal claim to fame was her hand-colouring contributions to the exceptional series on Amsterdam's botanical gardens, the Commelins' 'Horti Medici Amstelodamensis' [link], 1697.



Fior di Battaglia = Flower of Battle = Flos Duellatorum,a combat manual created in the first decade of 15th cent.
"Like people today, people of the medieval and Renaissance periods read how-to books. This manuscript by the greatest fencing-master of the late 1300s, Fiore Furlan dei Liberi da Premariacco, instructs the reader in the intricacies of combat. Lively illustrations of charging horses and armored knights accompany the text. Through words and pictures, the manuscript teaches a variety of fighting techniques including single combat on foot with sword, dagger, and ax[e], and also mounted combat in all its variations. Nicolò III d'Este, ruler of Ferrara, ordered at least three copies of this text, including this one. Nicolò's interest in such a manual was quite natural, since fighting played an important role in the education of young nobleman, and he himself was raising three sons." [link]
See the *combat* tag for a range of previous BibliOdyssey posts on swordsmanship, weaponry, munitions, war arts, defensive emplacements &c.

The parchment manuscript (~20.5 x 30cm) below features illustrations executed in tempera colours, gold leaf, silver leaf, and ink. This sample of manuscript images was chosen from among the 85+ leaves of the manuscript, and they have been variously cropped and lightly cleaned in the background at times.


Album of 100 Portraits of Personages from Chinese Opera
Period: Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
Date: late 19th–early 20th century
Culture: China
Medium: Album of fifty leaves; ink, color, and gold on silk
Artist: Unidentified



























A Calligraphy Master's Album

























Advertising posters for music-hall cabaret shows in Paris in the late 19th century



Title: Folies-Bergère, tous les soirs, Thaumaturgie humoristique par le Comte Patrizio de Castiglione
Artist: Jules Chéret
Date: 1875



Title: Folies-Bergère...Les Prices, ramoneurs musicaux...
Artist: F Appel (lithographer)
Date: 1890




Title: Folies-Bergère. La danse du feu [La Loïe Fuller]
Artist: Jules Chéret
Date: 1897




Title: Folies-Bergère. Le plus nouveau spectacle. Le kangourou boxeur
Artist: F Appel (lithographer)
Date: 1895



"[S]till enjoying, though in the afternoon of life, a reasonable share of health and vigour, I am now ready to proceed to any part of the globe, to which your Majesty's commands direct me. Many are the portions of it that have not yet been fully explored by Botanists - all of them are equal to my choice. To extend the science of botany, to enrich the Royal Gardens at Kew, and to obey your Majesty's gracious commands, are the only objects of ambition that actuate the breast of Your Majesty's most humble, most dutiful, and most grateful Servant, FRANCIS MASSON." (source)
The genus Stapelia (tribe: Stapeliae, family: Apocynaceae^) consists of around forty low-growing, succulent plants from southern Africa. They may resemble cactus at times, but they are not related. The Stapeliads were a larger group back in the late 18th century when the illustrations below were first designed.

The main taxonomic characteristic in the 1790s was the extraordinary flower parts produced by most member species. In order to attract the blow flies that pollinate the flowers, many Stapelia species (and related/synonymous Orbea varietals) give off a stench of rotting flesh. The deceit is so effective that the flies lay eggs in the flowers, not realising there is no food to sustain emerging maggots.
"The hairy, oddly textured and coloured appearance of many Stapelia flowers has been claimed to resemble that of rotting meat, and...
It is well that there are palaces of peace
And discipline and dreaming and desire,
Lest we forget our heritage and cease
The Spirit’s work — to hunger and aspire:

Lest we forget that we were born divine,
Now tangled in red battle’s animal net,
Murder the work and lust the anodyne,
Pains of the beast 'gainst bestial solace set.

But this shall never be: to us remains
One city that has nothing of the beast,
That was not built for gross, material gains,
Sharp, wolfish power or empire’s glutted feast.

We are not wholly brute. To us remains
A clean, sweet city lulled by ancient streams,
A place of visions and of loosening chains,
A refuge of the elect, a tower of dreams.

She was not builded out of common stone
But out of all men’s yearning and all prayer
That she might live, eternally our own,
The Spirit’s stronghold — barred against despair.

C. S. Lewis' poem Oxford
published in 'Spirits in Bondage'
in 1919 under the pseudonym, Clive Davis [via]

'Oxonia Illustrata' consists of about 40+ engraved plates of Oxford University colleges, buildings, grounds and maps, as produced by the artist David Loggan in 1675. A sampling from two different editions are shown below.

The lighter, double-page images below were spliced - and 'massaged' - together from separate individual page files with differing magnifications, so apologies for any apparent...
Family crests from Estonia, Latvia & Lithuaniain a 1902 calendar of colour woodblock prints
Each coat of arms^ has the corresponding family name printed (in some swish, Art Nouveau-influenced fonts!) on each illustration. Although only heraldic designs are shown below, the album actually consists of a brief calendar section, the series of heraldry illustrations, followed by short family histories.

























An 1860s pomological manuscript documentsthe varieties of pears (birensorte) and apples (apfelsorte) unique to Switzerland
Pomology is a branch of botany relating to the study and cultivation of fruit [W]. I don't believe a post devoted to fruit drawings has ever appeared on BibliOdyssey. It's not for want of material; it's more about the general mediocrity of the genre. Pomological collections tend to be the poor orphan of the botanical world in terms of illustrative qualities. I've saved a lot of samples over the years, but could never quite generate enough enthusiasm to pull the trigger. Until today: this naturalistic and unpretentious set caught my eye. I like it. [Yes, yes: it's all *in my opinion*. Being emperor and guardian of this site has its privileges.]



Birnensorte Winter-Dechantsbirne (Doyenné d'hiver)



Birnensorte Wasserbirne



Birnensorte Sommer-Apothekerbirne (Bon-Chrétien d'été,...
The images below are Japanese posters from ~the first quarter of the 20th century.
"The Taishō period^ (大正時代 Taishō jidai?), or Taishō era, is a period in the history of Japan dating from July 30, 1912, to December 25, 1926, coinciding with the reign of the Emperor Taishō". Some of the posters carry over to the early Shōwa era: Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito)^ reigned from 1926 to 1989.




Title: Puraton mannenhitshu: Puraton inki [Woman with an ink bottle]
Description: A woman holding an ink bottle. Nakayama Taiyodo. Platon ink and pen (プラトンインキ, プラトン万年筆).
Subject (company): Nakayama Taiyōdō; 中山太陽堂




Title: Shinshin chinka Kattoru = Cuttlefish [Cuttlefish] 新進珍菓カットル
Description: A cuttlefish. "Cuttle" or "Cuttle Fish" (a snack), Chishima-ya Shoten (千島屋商店).
A mid-20th century collaboration between artists, poets and printers gave rise to a unique book of surrealistic creatures accompanied by complementary typographic art poems.

The original gouache designs of fabulous beasts were produced by Jean Lurçat, which inspired poems by Patrice de la Tour du Pin. The sketches were rendered as lithographs by Vairel Edmond and the poems were turned into calligrams* by Jules-Dominique Morniroli. The book was printed/published in a limited edition by Maurice Darantiere at P. Gaudin in 1948.

At least a couple of the participants in this project became friends while working for the French underground during World War 2.
"A calligram is a poem, phrase, or word in which the typeface, calligraphy or handwriting is arranged in a way that creates a visual image."
Previously: Zoomorphic Calligraphy || Hebrew Micrography.



La Puce Cerf Volant



The illustrations below were designed by the German artist and naturalist, Maria Sibylla Merian. The plates were originally prepared for a mid-1670s book on the metamorphosis of caterpillars into butterflies. However, the scientific community of the time largely ignored Merian's work because it wasn't published in Latin, the formal language of science.

Some forty years later, Merian finally reworked and expanded this earlier book on European insects. Sadly, she died shortly before the completed book - in Latin, finally - was readied for publication in 1717 as 'Erucarum Ortus..'. The full title of the book is said to translate as: 'The Miraculous Transformation and Unusual Flower-Food of Caterpillars'.

Merian's portrayal of plants and insects in a semi-naturalistic way was something of a step forward in the world of scientific illustration. Many of her contemporaries 'arranged' the illustrated scenes to show man's domination over nature, or took liberties with embellishment to impress and dazzle the audience.
"For her period, her work is scientifically accurate and she is considered by modern scholars to be one of the founders of entomology, the study of insects." [source]
'Erucarum Ortus' features some 150 plates of butterflies, caterpillars, moths and other insects together with their associated plants. The book is divided into three sections and about half of the first section of illustrations - in this particular copy - has been enhanced with hand-colouring. The balance of engravings below were sampled from throughout the book. The opium...
These chromolithographs* come from a decorative arts book published in about 1910 (or a little later) called 'The Decorative Use of Wallpapers'. The book gave homemakers help in visualising room arrangements and design possibilities using various contemporary wallpapers.

The author, E Owen Clark, and the publisher/printer, Goddard, Walker and Brown Ltd London and Hull, have scant mentions on the internet; and none of those relate to design or artistic publications. Their wallpaper book is a fairly upscale production, so maybe they all missed their true calling. It took me a while to warm up to the scenes, but I'm definitely a convert: I really like these illustrations and the print quality is excellent.

The interior design, book-buying public of the 1910s were apparently expected to be well-versed in the esoteric language of wallpaper styles (according to the Foreword). For the modern ignoranti, a few definitions may help when reading the author's plate descriptions below (although, to be fair, all these terms are still in use today):

Anaglypta "refers to a range of paintable, textured wallcoverings made from paper or vinyl. It is produced on traditional paper and paste-the-wall substrates." [W].
Lignomur is a preparation of embossed wood fibre pasteboard.
Lincrusta is a deeply embossed, thick type of wallpaper made (in part) from linseed gel, which continues to dry and harden over many years. Think: Victorian buildings or, more recently, hotel foyers, bars and...
A Little Book of Nature
'New little book of flowers, in it all kinds of beautiful flowers, also fruits and little animals, which are very useful to painters, silk embroiderers, goldsmiths and similar artists and are especially useful for travelling. Engraved in copperplate in honor of all art-lovers, published in Nuremberg 1652 in the publishing house of Paulus Fürst, art dealer.' (Thanks Maren!)

So I suppose we can dub this sweet little album something of a (late) 'copybook' or 'model book': a drawing source for artists in various trades. And that's about as much as I've been able to find out about this publication.

Fürst's name pops up around the traps as a publisher and seller of pamphlets, broadsheets, books and copper engravings, but there's no particular association with natural history or botanical drawings to provide guidance here. There are twenty plates in total in 'Viridarium Novum' plus a titlepage containing text in both Latin and German.














Illuminated Appreciation Albums

From 1885 to 1890 Lord Carrington was a popular Governor of NSW. He and his wife were held in such high regard by the people of NSW that a grand series of presentation albums was created by various community associations and districts to honour their service and bid them farewell when they returned to England at the end of their tenure. The Carrington Albums, as they have come to be known, were sent back to Australia in recent years by a Buckinghamshire (UK) library that housed the series on behalf of Lord Carrington's descendants. NSW State Records has digitised and placed online a number of the illuminated albums. The pages seen below come from volume 14 (they were the largest images from the available albums).
"This ‘most auspicious’ appointment [of Lord Carrington] attracted much ceremony in NSW and as a consequence saw the creation of highly decorative illuminated addresses and photograph albums to be officially presented to he Governor. During his time as Governor of NSW it was said Lord Carrington, aided by his wife, re-established the opulence of Government House and the grandeur of the office of Governor.

Upon conclusion of his time as Governor, Sydney gave Lord and Lady Carrington an unprecedented farewell, with thousands lining the streets and showering their carriage with flowers. In a parting speech, Carrington declared they were 'guests who found their welcome at once an adoption, and whose farewell...