Citrus Fruit Natural History Studies
Johann Christoph Volckamer, Early 18th Century

Click on images below to view enlargements and details:

  • Plate 116a
  • Plate 122
  • Plate 132b
  • Plate 132a
  • Plate 138b
  • Plate 140a
  • Plate 142a
  • Plate 148
  • Plate 150a
  • Plate 154
  • Plate 156
  • Plate 156a
  • Plate 158a
  • Plate 158b
  • Plate 160b
  • Plate 162
  • Plate 164b
  • Plate 136b
  • Plate 116a
    Cedro Ordinario [Ordinary Etrog]
  • Plate 122
    Cedro col' Pigolo [Etrog with Pigolo]
  • Plate 132b
    Limon da Portugal Dolce [Sweet Lemon of Portugal]
  • Plate 132a
    Limon Agostarot da Portugal Dolce [Sweet Agostarot Lemon of Portugal]
  • Plate 138b
    Limon ā Zucheta. Lumia. [Zucheta Lemon/ Sweet Lemon]
  • Plate 140a
    Limon Peretto [Little Pear Lemon]
  • Plate 142a
    Limoni Peretti ò Spada fora [Little Pear or Spadafora Lemons]
  • Plate 148
    Limea da Valenza [Lime of Valencia]
  • Plate 150a
    Limea da Gallitia [Lime of Galicia]
  • Plate 154
    Limon Vulgare, 1702 [Common Lemon, 1702]
  • Plate 156
    Limon Bergamotto con la fog'a Liscia, Limon Bergamotto con foglia rizza [Bergamot Lemon with Smooth Leaves, Bergamot Lemon with Bristled Leaves]
  • Plate 156a
    Limon Salerno da Genoua, 1698 [Salerno Lemon of Genoa, 1698]
  • Plate 158a
    Limon Bergamotto Personzin Gientile [Bergamot Lemon]
  • Plate 158b
    Limon Dolce Ordin, 1702 [Ordinary Sweet Lemon, 1702]
  • Plate 160b
    Ballotin di Spagna, Limon Guzza Appetito, 1701 [Ballotin of Spain, Guzza Appetito Lemon, 1701]
  • Plate 162
    Limon Cedrato [Citron Lemon]
  • Plate 164b
    Limea Aranzata [Orange Lime]
  • Plate 136b
    Bergamotto della Grand Sorte [Bergamot of the Large Sort]
  • Plate 138a
  • Plate 172c
  • Plate 172d
  • Plate 182a
  • Plate 184b
  • Plate 188a
  • Plate 188b
  • Plate 192a
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  • Plate 194c
  • Plate 196
  • Plate 198
  • Plate 204
  • Plate 207
  • Plate 138a
    La Zucchetta Imperiale [Imperial Melon]
  • Plate 172c
    Cedrati dalla Bizaria [Eccentric Citrons]
  • Plate 172d
    Altri Cedratti dalla Bizaria [Other Eccentric Citrons]
  • Plate 182a
    Pompelmus [Grapefruit]
  • Plate 184b
    Mögeldorff [Citrus Over Mögeldorff]
  • Plate 188a
    Aranzo Silvestre, 1699 [Woodland Orange, 1699]
  • Plate 188b
    Aranzo Dolce [Sweet Orange]
  • Plate 192a
    Aranzo Cornuto Hermephrodito, 1699 [Horned Hermaphrodite Orange, 1699]
  • Plate 194b
    Aranzo da Portugal [Orange of Portugal]
  • Plate 194c
    Pomo da Sina [Apple of China]
  • Plate 196
    Aranzo Fiamato [Flaming Orange]
  • Plate 198
    Aranzo Rigato, 1695 [Striped Orange, 1695]
  • Plate 204
    Aranzo Cedrato [Citron Orange]
  • Plate 207
    Aranzi Nanini da China [Dwarf Oranges of China]
Johann Christoph Volckamer (1644-1720) (editor)
Paul Decker, B. Kenkel, I.C. Steinberger, Delsenbach, T.G. Beckh, Krieger, F.P. Lindner et al. (after)
L.C. Glotsch, J.C. Dehne, Montalegre, et al. (engravers)
Citrus Fruit Natural History Studies: Lemons, Limes, Oranges, etc.
from Nürnbergische Hesperides
J.A. Endter Sohn und Erben, Nuremberg: 1708 and 1714
Hand-colored engravings
12.5 x 8.25 inches each, platemark
14 x 9 inches each, overall
$800 to $1,900 each

Prints of citrus fruits, as cultivated in Europe in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Lemons, limes, oranges, bergamots and grapefruits – both typical and exotic varieties and shapes -- are shown, as well as some other non-citrus fruits such as pineapples, pomegranates, and coconuts.

In this period, it was fashionable among the aristocracy in Central Europe to grow plants native to the Mediterranean and the tropics, despite the cold winter climate. They built tall greenhouses to shelter the trees during the winter, and had the plants moved outdoors in the summer. Johann Christoph Volckamer was one such person -- a wealthy Nuremberg silk merchant with a fine citrus greenhouse and garden. He engaged several artists and engravers to produce Nürnbergische Hesperides, a two-volume work featuring his collection. The first volume was published in 1708, and the continuation volume in 1714. Each consists of four parts on citrus fruits and one part devoted to other flowering plants or fruits. According to scholar Gordon Dunthorne, this was the first botanical set to focus almost solely on fruit.

The prints follow a distinctive artistic format in which the fruit or flowers are displayed in monumental scale in bird’s-eye views above landscapes of the formal gardens, palazzos and country houses where they were grown. Fruits are generally shown flying in the sky, though sometimes other compositions are employed, such as oversized plants towering over Lilliputian landscapes. A floating ribbon wrapped around each specimen bears its name. The gardens shown are in Germany, Austria and northern Italy, especially around Verona, and include Volckamer’s garden, Gostenhof. These compositions are described by scholar Sandra Raphael as follows: "The fruit and gardens in most of the plates - spherical oranges, lemons, and citrons drifting like eccentric balloons above miniature landscapes - make pleasingly surreal compositions….”

Full Title: Nürnbergische Hesperides, oder gründliche Beschreibung der Edlen Citronat, Citronen und Pomerantzen-Früchte ...Auf das accurateste in Kupffer gestochen, in Vier Theile eingetheilet und mit nützlichen Anmerckungen erkläret. Beneben der Flora, oder Curiosen Vorstellung Verschiedener raren Blumen ... Wie auch einem Bericht von denen in des Authoris Garten stehenden Columnis Milliaribus

[Nuremberg Hesperides, or thorough description of the noble citron and bitter orange fruits…With the most accurate copperplate engravings, divided in four parts and with useful explanatory notes. Beneben of the Flora, or representation of different rare flowers…as well as being a record of those in the author’s garden, Columnis Milliaribus]

Condition: Generally very good, the colors bright, the paper with the usual light overall toning, wear, soft creases. Some margins very close or within platemark, some upper plate number clipped, all as issued.

References:

Blunt, Wilfred, rev. by Stearn, William T. The Art of Botanical Illustration. Woodbridge, Suffolk, England: Antique Collectors Club, 1994. p. 154.

Dunthorne, Gordon. Flower and Fruit Prints of the 18th and Early 19th Centuries. Their History, Makers and Uses, with a Catalogue Raisonne of the Works in Which They Are Found. Washington, D.C.: Published by the Author, 1938. 323.

Feldmann, Reinhard. Blüten und Blätter. Illustrierte Kräuter- und Pflanzenbücher aus fünf Jahrhunderten. Muenster, Germany: 1996. 43.

“Johann Christoph Volkamer (Volckamer): Nürbergisches Hesperides oder gründliche Beschreibung.” Archbishop Chateau and Gardens in Kromeriz. 2002-2003. http://digi.azz.cz/bookinfo.php?BookID=21&lng=2 (4 March 2009).

Lanckoronska, Maria and Richard Öhler. Buchillustration Des XVIII. Jahrhunderts in Deutschland, Osterreich Und Der Schweitz: Dritter Teil. Leipzig: Die Spamer, 1934. l, 43.

The Magnificent Botanical Library of the Stiftung fur Botanik, VaduzLiechtenstein Collected by the late Arpad Plesch. London: Sotheby & Co., 1975. 798.

Nissen, Claus. Die Botanische Buchillustration: ihre Geschichte und Bibliographie. Stuttgart: 1951-66. 2076.

Pritzel, Georg August. Thesaurus Literaturae Botanicae Omnium Gentium. Milan: 1950. 9848.

Sitwell, Sacheverell. Great Flower Books, 1700-1900. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990. p. 148.

Raphael, Sandra. An Oak Spring Pomona. A Selection of the Rare Books on Fruit in the OakSpringGarden Library. Upperville, VA: Oak Spring Garden Library; New Haven: Distributed by Yale University Press, 1990. 73.

Wimmer, Clemens Alexander and Iris Lauterbach. Bibliographie der vor 1750 Erschienenen Deutschen Gartenbücher. Nördlingen: Alfons Uhl, 2003. pp. 12 and 196.