A Group of Five Framed French Collected Wild Flower Botanical Specimens c.1870-80

Origin: French
Period: 3rd Republic    
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1870-80
The Two Smaller: 16.5” high x 12.5” wide x 0.75” deep
The Three Larger: 17.75” high x 14” wide x 0.75” deep

The beautifully faded collection of five wildflower botanical specimens, collected in the latter stages of the nineteenth century, residing in their original ebonized glazed frames, some being gilt decorated, with newspaper backings, surviving from rural France.

The condition is unspeakably original with the frames and backing all in place. They have each suffered with some woodworm and there are nibbled losses to the frames with insect and dust deposits to the specimens; the flowers are all in tact but have lost some of their colourings, understandably. The paper backings are all in French and bear dates to the early twentieth century such as 1903 and 1917.

The specimens are hand annotated with the Latin names as follows with some numbers possibly being the dates found such as ’71 and ’75:

1)    hedera helix caprifoliaceae sierra (English Ivy)
2)    heliotropium europaeum (European heliotrope or European turn-sole.)
3)    echium plantagineum (Purple viper's-bugloss or Paterson's curse)
4)    symphoricarpus racemosus caprifoliaceae (Snowberry, waxberry or ghostberry)
5)    symphoricarpus mexicana caprifoliaceae (desert snowberry?)

Flower and plant collecting was popular in the mid-Victorian period especially with albums containing botanical specimens from flowers to seaweed and algae specimens.

An enduringly romantic example of collecting in the nineteenth century; wonderfully original and beautifully undisturbed.