An exceptionally fine engraving with original hand-coloring from the first edition of A CURIOUS HERBAL - drawn, engraved and painted by Elizabeth Blackwell. Published in London, c. 1739.
This is Plate 271, Wild Valerian (Valeriana sylvestris). Valeriana is a genus of flowering plants in the family Caprifoliaceae, members of which may by commonly known as valerians. It contains many species, including the garden valerian, Valeriana officinalis. Some species are native to Europe, others to North America and South America (especially in the Andes).
These 18th century herbals are from one of the first English botanical series to be issued with hand-colored plates. Published by Elizabeth Blackwell to free her physician husband from debtor’s prison. Due to the great success and popularity of this enterprise, her husband was indeed released (however he was later beheaded for his part in a political plot to alter the Swedish royal succession).
Plate size is approximately 11 7/8 x 7 3/4 inches.