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Lot 4176

Details: EHRET, After George Dionysius (1710-1770). Pineapple. "The Pine Apple. Ananas cosmosus" Pl. 21. [London: 1750]. Copper engraving, colored by hand, by and after Ehret. Very good condition apart from discreet blindstamp to lower right corner of plate. Sheet size: 15 3/8 x 9 3/8 inches .

A very fine image from Griffith Hughes' "The Natural History of Barbados", drawn by the greatest of eighteenth-century botanical artists, George Dionysius Ehret.

"If the general, or at least if the judgement of the most numerous part of mankind, who have tasted of this fruit, may be relied upon, it deserves the preference of all other fruits; the agreeable variety, and the delicate quick poignancy of it juice is justly esteemed to excel every other" (Griffith Hughes, The Natural History of Barbados, London, 1750, p.226). The book was illustrated with 30 plates (12 of which are signed by Ehret). Hunt praises the work: "This book is one to place beside Catesby's Natural History" and it is often seen as a companion to Sloane's Jamaica.

Ehret, a brilliant botanical artist, was unrivaled in his ability to "achieve realism, majesty, ineffable color, all in one breathtaking look." (Hunt). Born in Heidelberg in 1710, he originally worked as a gardener and practiced drawing in his spare time. Ehret moved to London in the late 1730s, where he painted the recently introduced exotics at the Chelsea Physic Garden and established himself as a teacher of flower-painting and botany.

Cf. Gerta Calman Georg Ehret, Flower painter Extraordinary (1977) p.67; cf. Great Flower Books (1990) p.104; cf. Hunt 536; cf. Nissen BBI 950; cf. Sabin 33582; cf. Wood p.393.

Condition / Notes:

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The Pine Apple GEORGE DIONYSIUS EHRET 1750 Copper

Estimate $300 - $500May 21, 2017