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Folding fan; double paper leaf; etching, hand-coloured; sticks said to be of yew and guards of sycamore. The front leaf is etched with botanical drawings of the sexual anatomy of plants arranged according to Carl Linnaeus's (1707-77) classification. Each drawing is numbered with a Roman numeral and briefly described. The borders of the mount are printed with leaves of various types, with their names recorded alongside them. On the back of the mount there are two lists of the drawings on the front with botanical descriptions and examples of the plants that fall into this class. An image of a flower and a description of a flower's principal parts are printed between the lists, followed by a some lines of verse from 'The Botanick Garden', a poem written by Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802). The poem was published in two separate parts: Part II, 'The Loves of the Plants' in 1789, and Part I, 'The Economy of Vegetation' in 1792. The description of a flower's principal parts runs as follows: 'A Flower consists of the/ Calyx, Empalement or Cup. /Corolla, or Blossom ... Which is of one or more Petals. / Stamina, or Chives. / Pistilla or Pointals. / Pericarpium, or Seed-vessel. / Semina, or Seeds. / Nectarium, or Honey Cup. / Receptaculum, or Receptable'. The stanza quoted from 'The Botanick Garden' reads as follows: 'Come ye soft Sylphs, who fan the Paphian Groves,/ And bear on sportive wings the callow Loves,/ Call with sweet whisper, in each gale that blows,/ The slumbering Snow-drop from her long repose;/ Charm the pale primrose from her clay-cold bed, / Unveil the bashful Violet's tremulous head;/ While from her bud, the playful Tulip breaks,/ And young Carnations peek with blushing cheeks/ II Stanza 4 Canto Botanic Garden V.I'.

Details

  • Title: Fan
  • Creator: Ashton, Sarah
  • Date Created: 1792
  • Location: London
  • Medium: Paper, printed, yew and sycamore

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