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09:00 AM ET (US)
I found this plant growing in my back yard, and I love it. Does anyone here know what it is?
Edited 02-17-2004 09:01 AM
denise@centrs.comPerson was signed in when posted
07:01 AM ET (US)
in some cases, i tend to agree with you, sakusha. the prints were created over a period of time between 1790 and 1807. they were orignally serialized - sold as they were created, and when the collection was complete, the owner could have the prints bound. so, there were a lot of loose prints floating around before the actual book was published in 1807. an intact book from the original printing is quite rare, with a dealer being able to make much more money from the book than by selling the individual prints.

the book is a tribute to linnaeus, the father of taxonomy. thornton spent his entire inheritance to have the plates created. when he was ready to publish, there was no demand due to poverty as a result of war. he convinced the british government to let him hold a lottery. the first prize winner would get the complete book and the printing plates would be destroyed. other winners would received individual prints. so, even at that time there were singles intended to be distributed. sadly, thornton could not summon interest in his lottery and died shortly after, leaving his family destitute.
SakushaPerson was signed in when posted
04:35 AM ET (US)
Alas, this may be a bad thing. Sales of individual folio-size prints of this type usually means someone has cut apart a fine bound folio and is selling it piecemeal. Many fine books have been cut apart and just the pages with the images are framed and sold, the texts are discarded. It's desecration, a loss of accumulated knowledge. Age and entropy have claimed most old books, I hate to see greedy people dispersing historic works to the four corners of the earth.
denise@centrs.comPerson was signed in when posted
02:21 AM ET (US)
bb addict, parallel botany, the voynich manuscript, and the codex seraphinianus all sound fascinating, as well as the glass flowers. looking up more info on these is going to keep me busy for days! a jumping off point that i found:

codex seraphinianus

has a few pictures, tons of links and also mentions the voynich manuscript. i can't wait to get started. that's why i love boingboing so much. i always get exposed to the coolest new things.
Edited 06-30-2002 02:21 AM
boingboing addictPerson was signed in when posted
01:46 AM ET (US)
These pictures remind me of "Parallel Botany" by Leo Lionni - a fake treatise about otherworldly 'parallel' plants.

here's a review:

also of course the Voynich manuscript, and the fabulous Codex Seraphinianus which contain their share of crazy plant pictures.

surreal plant pix! yay!


oh also the beautiful and utterly mind-boggling glass flowers at harvard:

if you're in the boston area you should definitely check them out.
Edited 06-30-2002 01:52 AM
denise@centrs.comPerson was signed in when posted
11:20 PM ET (US)
=Tacca chantrieri= gorgeous!

some of the images are more "real" than others. thornton drew the illustrations of the flora and acted as "art director" while several different artists did the actual painting. to me, my favorites, (pitcher plant, snowdrop and carnations) seem surreal because of the juxtaposition of the flowers over the backgrounds, the vivid colors, the lighting and the era they were created in. there seems to me to be a melancholy mood set and the plates reach far beyond the typical botanical print.
Edited 06-29-2002 11:23 PM
Teresa Nielsen HaydenPerson was signed in when posted
10:46 PM ET (US)
If I say those don't look surreal to me, will you think I've looked at too many botanical images? That really is what those plants look like, even the passionflower. And the stormy gray backgrounds are romantic, but they're also great for setting off petals and foliage.

You want surreal? Find a picture of =Tacca chantrieri=. Or stop by a nursery and ask for a flat of =Celosia cristata=. Those things don't even look real.

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