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Plate # VIII Carduus benedictus.
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Plate # VIII Carduus benedictus.

By Ludwig, Prince of Anhalt.

Frankfurt-am-Main:: Ludwig, Prince of Anhalt,, 1617-28.. First edition. Fine . Plate # VIII Carduus benedictus. Fine hand-colored copperplate engraving. Folio (8.25 x 13.5 inches) Double matted to 13.75 x 19.5 inches. This plate is from the only botanical work from the well known topographical engraver, Matthias Merian; for whom the noted contemporary magazine The Engraver is named, and father of Maria Sibylla Merian, the famous eighteenth century naturalist and botanical painter who produced The Insects of Surinam. Utilizing his fine tradition of topography, each flower or plant is set in an appropriate landscape or background of German towns and gardens. The plants are offered as emblems of the individual members of a private society founded in Germany in 1617 with "the desire to not only promote human virtues, honesty and courtesy, but to support, purify and improve the German language". A fine 17th Century Herbal and classified as one of the most beautifully engraved books of the 17th Century. (Praz, DeBelder.)