Plate Tab. 6: ‘Classis III Ordo I, Triandria Monogynia – Crocus sativus.’ This plate shows the Crocus sativus, commonly known as saffron crocus, of the Crocus genus in the Iridaceae family. It is best known for the spice saffron, which is produced from parts of the plant’s flowers.
Made by after an anonymous artist.
Medium: engraving / etching with original old hand colouring on hand laid (verge) paper.
Sheet size: 38 x 53.5 cm (14.96 x 21.06 inch). Image size: 27 x 44 cm. (10.63 x 17.32 inch).
Condition: good, given age. Irregular edges with some small tears. Very clean plate otherwise. German name of the species ‘Safran’ in handwriting below image. General age-related toning and/or occasional minor defects from handling. Please study scan carefully.
CROCUS SATIVUS-SAFFRON-IRIDACEAE-FLOWER | DP-A2-002-22
This rare original antique print originates from ‘Illustratio systematis sexualis Linnaei’ (An Illustration of the Sexual System of Linnaeus) by John Miller published in London ca. 1770. Miller was a Nuremberg artist who anglicized his name on arrival in London in 1744. The botanical aspects of the plates were overseen initially by Gowan Knight (1713 – 1772), the first Principal Librarian of the British Museum and a friend of Fothergill’s. The plates were issued both coloured and uncoloured, the latter, for scientific purposes, were published with letters, the former for aesthetic reasons were published without. The work appeared in twenty parts from 1770 to 1777 and was sold to 85 subscribers (who ordered 105 sets). Linnaeus himself was sent samples of the work for his approval and responded enthusiastically, considering it ‘more beautiful and more accurate than any that had been seen since the world began’ (Great Flower Books, 1990, p. 120). . Artists and Engravers: John Miller.
Reference: Nissen BBI 1372, Dunthorne 222, Henrey 1153, Stafleu and Cowan 6483.
Biography engraver: John Miller, otherwise Johann Sebastian Mueller (1715 – c.1790), draughtsman and engraver, was born at Nuremberg and studied there under J. C. Weigel and M. Tyroff. In 1744 he came to England with his brother Tobias, an engraver of architecture, and he passed the remainder of his life in this country, chiefly practising as an engraver.
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