Friday, April 4, 2014

Exquisite botanical art prints from 17th-century England

In honor of spring awakenings now occurring and soon to come, I'd like to share with you these charming images from "Tradescant's Orchard: watercolours of garden fruits, arranged roughly by date of ripening." Depicted are corone and May cherries, early ripe apple, hazlenut, peach, plum, and Queen Mother plum. Love the froggy, owl, birdie with a worm, snail, squirrel, grasshopper, and butterfly as well! This 17th century beauty (~1620) is MS. Ashmole 1461 in the Bodleian Library's illustrated manuscripts collection.
fol. 23r 'The Corone Cherry'. Ripe: 19 June.
fol. 127r 'An Early ripe Apple and good in taste'. Ripe 22 Aug.
"The grette Roman hazell nut"
fol. 15r 'The May Cherry'. Ripe: 2 [May].
Morocco plum, ripe July 15
fol. 105r 'The Nuingetonn peeche.' Ripe 4 Aug.
fol. 47r 'The quene mother plum'. Ripe: 14 August.
I serendipitously came across these images while looking for illustrations to accompany blog posts for our latest Forum, "The Simple Life: Ideas to Nourish and Sustain." They were so fine, however, that they deserved a post of their own! The Forum has several books that show you how to plant and nurture fruit- and nut-bearing trees. And just by testing yourself on one of the quizzes there, you can get $2 off an order. Not only that, but if you order anything on the entire site by April 11 and use the source code 13850, you can take $3 off. Peachy!
All images are copyright the Bodleian Library.


  1. Now, as much as I appreciate owls & especially oddly drawn owls in every form of art, I would have to say that is probably not to scale. That owl seems smaller than an apple. Although, I do really appreciate the tiny squirrel with an acorn larger than its head!

    1. That wee owl looks bewildered by his own minuscule size! I bet he's hoping that gigantic apple doesn't fall onto his head.

  2. JP

    The Daily Glean = world's best web site