17th Century Besler of a Tawny Day Lilly Print


United Kingdom

DC Member since 2011
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17th Century Besler of a Tawny Day Lilly Print

Stunning 17th Century Tawny Day Lilly botanical engraving, by Basilius Besler.

Basilius Besler (1561-1629) was a prominent botanist and apothecarist in Nuremberg. He was tasked with curating the garden of Johann Konrad von Gemmingen, the Prince Bishop of Eichstaedt in Bavaria. The Prince also requested a codex of all the plants growing in his garden. This commission would take Besler 16 years to complete and his patron passed away shortly before its publication.

The work was the Hortus Eystettensis, first published in 1613. This seminal volume revolutionised the world of botanical art overnight, comprising 367 life-sized copper engravings which represented 1084 different plants across 667 species. It was first published in 1613.

Before the Hortus Eystettensis, botanical art had been confined to relatively naive depictions of medicinal and culinary herbs, for utilitarian purposes.

Besler published two versions. The more expensive and luxurious was hand-coloured, whilst a more accessible edition was produced in black-and-white.

These engravings are hard to come by and an invaluable piece of botanical history. Not only are they significant, but they are also enormously decorative.


  • H: 55cm (21.65in)
  • W: 44cm (17.32in)



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Mobile: +44 (0)7831 765600


Alfies Antiques Market
Stand 77-78
13-25 Church Street
United Kingdom


Run by owners Stephen Hall and Deborah Christopher, Christopher Hall Antiques and Interiors are a husband and wife team based in London.

They originally started our professional careers as hair stylists, working in many top West End salons and on numerous adverts, TV series, commercials and films.

They offer wide variety of stock from the 16th Century through to the 20th century.  Some of their items can be viewed at Alfies in London, where they have their own dedicated space.

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