19th Century Prints, Botanical, Chromolithograph, Lithograph, New Additions, Prints

New Additions: Fern Prints

NEW ADDITIONS bannerNEW ADDITIONSBetween 1837 and 1914, Pteridomania, or fern madness, swept through Britain and, later, the United States. Coupled with the rise of the amateur gardener and naturalist in the nineteenth century, hundreds of books and articles encouraged a popular fascination with ferns. This resulted in widespread collection and cultivation of the plant.

Ferns are one of the oldest forms of life still thriving; fern fossils have been found dating back 360 million years, although the majority of most modern species only date back to the Cretaceous period (145 million years ago). To the Victorian populace, ferns encapsulated the mystery and majesty of another era. Lectures were given on fern history and the differences in both form and color of the  multitude of obtainable varieties for cultivation. These talks were often concluded with expert-led “fern-hunting” parties, comprised of a group of pteridomaniacs trouncing through English hills and lanes, searching for particularly rare or beautiful fern specimens.

As the craze intensified, fern patterns and motifs appeared on fabric, embroidery, cast iron, and pottery. Women wore gowns decorated with ferns, exchanged pressed ferns, and collected illustrations of ferns torn from the pages of scientific volumes. The Wardian case was invented in 1829 by a physician to protect his ferns from the air pollution of London, and soon became a staple in stylish households, along with outdoor ferneries.

Fern mania reached American shores as well, although with a little less intensity. Turn of the century greenhouse ferneries were established in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Chicago, and other cities.

From E.J. Lowe’s Our Native Ferns; or a History of the British Species and Their Varieties. Chromolithographs, published by Groombridge and Sons, London, 1865-67. See all available E. J. Lowe fern prints here.

Plate LIX. Bleachnum Spicant (Var. Subserratum) and B. Spicant (Var. Ramosum). LINK.

Plate LIX. Bleachnum Spicant (Var. Subserratum) and B. Spicant (Var. Ramosum). LINK.

Plate LII. Scolopendrium Vulgare (Var. Submarginatum). S. Vulgare (Var. Jugosum) . LINK.

Plate LII. Scolopendrium Vulgare (Var. Submarginatum) and S. Vulgare (Var. Jugosum). LINK.

Plate LXXVI. Botrychium Lunaria and B. Lunaria (Var. Moorei). LINK.

Plate LXXVI. Botrychium Lunaria and B. Lunaria (Var. Moorei). LINK.

From Anne Pratt’s The Flowering Plants, Sedges and Ferns of Great Britain. Chromolithographs, published by Frederick Warne & Co., London, c. 1865-75. Engraved by W. Dickes. See all Anne Pratt fern prints here. 

1. Mountain Bladder Fern. (Cystopteris montana) 2. Alpine B. F. (C. alpina). LINK.

1. Mountain Bladder Fern. (Cystopteris montana) 2. Alpine B. F. (C. alpina). LINK.

Common Brake. LINK.

Common Brake. LINK.

From Daniel Cady Eaton’s Ferns of the United States of America. Chromolithographs published by Armstrong & Co. Lith., Boston, 1879. After watercolors by C. E. Faxon and J. H. Emerton. Eaton was a Yale botany professor who founded the Peabody Museum Herbarium. See all our Eaton fern prints here.

Eaton Fern Plate III. Asplenium Serratum fern. LINK.

Eaton Fern Plate III. Asplenium Serratum. LINK.

Eaton Fern Plate LII. A Woodwardia Virginica fern. LINK.

Eaton Fern Plate LII. Woodwardia Virginica. LINK.

Eaton Fern Plate LXVII. Aspidium Floridanum. LINK.

Eaton Fern Plate LXVII. Aspidium Floridanum. LINK.

Eaton Fern Plate LXII. Aspidium Aculeatum. LINK.

Eaton Fern Plate LXII. Aspidium Aculeatum. LINK.

Eaton Fern Plate LXXI. LINK.

Eaton Fern Plate LXXI. Woodsia Oregana. Woodsia Scopulina. Woodsia Obtusa. LINK.

 

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