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Basilius Besler

Basilius Besler (1561-1629) was a respected Nuremberg apothecary and botanist, best known for his monumental Hortus Eystettensis. He was curator of the garden of Johann Konrad von Gemmingen, prince bishop of Eichstätt in Bavaria.

The Hortus Eystettensis (Garden of Eichstätt) changed botanical art overnight. The emphasis in botanicals of previous centuries had been on medicinal and culinary herbs, and these had usually been depicted in a crude manner. The images were often inadequate for identification, and had little claim to being aesthetic. However, in the Hortus Eystettensis the plates, of garden flowers, herbs and vegetables, exotic plants such as castor-oil and arum lilies, were depicted near life-size, producing rich detail. The layout was artistically pleasing and quite modern in concept, with the hand-colouring adding greatly to the final effect. The work was first published in 1613 and consisted of 367 copper engravings, with an average of three plants per page, so that a total of 1084 species were depicted. The first edition printed 300 copies, which took four years to sell. The book was printed on large sheets measuring 57 x 46 cm. Two versions were produced, black and white for use as a reference book, and a luxury version without text, printed on quality paper and lavishly hand-coloured.

 

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  1. Two copper engraved plates with hand-colour. Framed and glazed, overall size: 46.2cm by 55.2cm by 5cm.

    £9,500
  2. Copper-engraving, with fine later hand-colour,

    £5,000
  3. Four copper engraved plates with hand-colour. Framed and Glazed, Overall Size: 51.2 x 60.3 cm.

    £14,000
  4. Pair of copper engraved plates with hand-colouring, framed and glazed, 63.5 x 55.5 cm. (25 x 21 7/8 in) inclusive.

    £10,000
  5. Copper-engraving, with fine hand colour.

    £700
  6. Copper-engraving, with fine hand colour.

    £600
  7. Copper-engraving, with fine hand colour.

    £700
  8. Copper-engraving, with fine hand colour.

    £500
  9. Copper-engraving, with fine hand colour.

    £500
  10. Copper-engraving, with fine hand colour.

    £850
 

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Contact us for more information about Basilius Besler

+44 (0)20 7493 0876