Blackwell Botanical Aurum® Series Set
In this series, we honor pioneering botanical artist Elizabeth Blackwell with this gorgeous curated collection of her engravings of medicinal plants. Blackwell, recognized as the first British female herbalist, methodically produced her hand-drawn, etched, and engraved, hand-colored illustrations for A Curious Herbal, which was published in installments from 1737 to 1739. The artist published four plates and a page of text per week, totaling 500 meticulous illustrations. The complete work was published in two volumes, titled A Curious Herbal containing five hundred cuts of the most useful plants, which are now used in the practice of physick, to which is added a short description of ye plants and their common uses in physick.
A book of plants, known as a herbal, describes their appearance, healing properties, and instructions for preparing medicines. The earliest records of plants used for medicinal purposes date back 5,000 years from Egypt and China. Discorides, a Greek physician, wrote De materia medica in AD 65, which was the principal record of medicinal plants until the end of the 17th century.
Each fine art print in this series showcases the extraordinary artistic skill of the original Blackwell botanical illustrations on a background of 24 karat gold. Lightweight, durable, and collectible, these exquisite fine art prints represent the blending of cutting-edge technology and timeless lithographic artwork.
Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Elizabeth came from a wealthy merchant family, providing her with a good education. Her studies included art and languages, which would be useful in her future work on A Curious Herbal. Blackwell drew her inspiration from the plant specimens in the Chelsea Physic Garden, London. This four-acre garden was established in 1673 with the express purpose of growing and studying plants to be used as medicines. Blackwell’s herbal was highly praised by prominent physicians and apothecaries of the day.
While Blackwell’s intricate botanical illustrations are remarkable in their own right, the strange circumstances that inspired the creation of her herbal also make them memorable. Self-taught in the processes of etching and engraving, Elizabeth Blackwell embarked on this long project in order to raise money to free her husband from a debtor’s prison. Not only were her engravings impeccable, but the herbal itself was the most comprehensive study of medicinal plants at that time. A Curious Herbal remained in print for decades after the artist’s death.
119 in stock
Aurum® gold bills are the smallest verifiable unit of gold available on the market today. Each of the fine art prints within the Elizabeth Blackwell Collection contains a precise, verifiable 100 milligrams of 24 karat gold. A superfine layer of gold is applied to a protective, printable polymer material using patented, proprietary processes. The precious metal within each Aurum® is visible throughout each fine art print from edge to edge and is fully recoverable using standard fire assay techniques.
- Each fine art print contains 100 milligrams of .999 pure 24 karat gold
- Each print measures 4.7″ x 2.64″
- The set comes in a printed commemorative folder
- Not legal tender
- Made in the United States
- Single-sided printing
- Due to the value of our products, a signature is required for all deliveries.