Palm Tree Engravings
Early 18th Century Dutch Natural History Studies
De Duda´m of Mauz Der Arabieren [The Dudaim or (?) Arabian] De Duda´m door Ruben gevonden Gen. 30:14 [The Dudaim Found by Reuben Gen. 30:14]
De Duda´m of Mauz Der Arabieren [The Dudaim or (?) Arabian]
De Dudaïm door Ruben gevonden Gen. 30:14 [The Dudaim Found by
Reuben Gen. 30:14]

Amsterdam: c. 1725
Hand-colored engravings
15 x 9.25 inches (Mauz Der Arabieren)
13 x 8 inches (Ruben gevonden)
$375 each

Studies of palm trees. One is called "Mauz Der Arabieren." Mauz may refer to Birkat al Mauz, in present-day Oman; "Arabieren" means Arabian. The other purports to illustrate a plant found by Reuben in Genesis 30:14, a verse in the Bible. The verse tells how Reuben found "dudaim" in the field at wheat harvest time and brought them to his mother, Leah. Dudaim are understood by contemporary Biblical scholars to be mandrakes, a member of the potato family, but the makers of these prints evidently thought they were a kind of fruit-bearing palm or banana (musa) tree. The pictures are in the style of natural history botanicals, one showing close-ups of fruits and flowers in various stages.

These engravings are said to have been illustrations for Augustin Calmet's writings on the Bible. Calmet (1672-1757) was a French Benedictine monk and theologian, who published several volumes of pioneering studies which utilized historical and factual information in order to interpret and understand Bible stories. His major work was a multi-volume work known in English as Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible. That work and his later reworkings and additions to that text were widely admired and translated into many languages in the 1720s and 30s, including Dutch.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual light overall toning, wear. Sold singly, but could be framed as a pair with same frame outer dimensions by adjusting mat size.

References:

"Dom Augustin Calmet." The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume III Robert Appleton Company :1908. Online at NewAdvent.org. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03189a.htm (21 January 2003).