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Album of British grasses.

Additional Title(s):

British grasses

Great Britain, circa 1800.
Physical Description:
1 volume (40 leaves, with additional blanks) ; 35 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
QK495.G74 G73 1800+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Archives & Manuscripts
Title from spine.
Bound in quarter calf and marbled boards.
Of green leaf, bird, and flower: artists' books and the natural world, p. 121
Selected exhibitions: “'Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower': Artists' Books and the Natural World" (Yale Center for British Art, May 15 - August 10, 2014).
Album of British grass specimens, compiled by an unidentified collector, circa 1800. Specimens are mounted on 40 leaves (rectos only). The album identifies 73 different varieties, with each leaf of the album bearing from one to four varieties. Each specimen is kept neatly in place with sugar paper spills. At the foot of each specimen, a small paper label bears the name of each plant (in pen and black ink). All labels include the Latin scientific name, and a majority also give the common English name.
Accompanying the volume are two contemporary 18th century folded folio manuscript lists, with plant species divided into groups: pasture plants, sheep grasses, grain, maize, crop lands, outfield lands, sheep pasture, marsh grasses, blowing land, grains, barley, oats, green crops. There are crosses against some entries, which probably indicates they have been collected. Also present is a further folded folio sheet: "Continuation of plants in Dr Walker's lect. [or list]." The Walker mentioned may be John Walker (1731-1803), prominent natural historian and Church of Scotland minister.
The main section of the album (for mounting specimens) is on blue sugar paper. Sections at the front and back are on plain paper, presumably for writing notes. The latter sheets bear the watermark "G.R." (with crest) and countermark "C. Taylor"; they probably date to approximately 1795.
Subject Terms:
Botanical specimens -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Grasses -- Collection and preservation -- Great Britain.
Grasses -- Great Britain -- Specimens.
Walker, John, 1731-1803.
Botanical illustrations -- 1800.
IIIF Manifest:

  • [Leaf numbers supplied]: 1. Poa annua
  • 2. Poa trivialis
  • 3. Poa pratensis
  • 4. Poa angustifolia [specimen lacking]. Poa cristata
  • 5. Brizia media
  • 6. Lolium temulentum / Darnel (to be got in B:shire) [specimen lacking]. Lolium perenne
  • 7. Festuca fluitans
  • 8. Festuca sylvatica. Festuca bromoides
  • 9. Festuca pratensis
  • 10. Festuca duriuscula
  • 11. Festuca ovina
  • 12. Anthoxanthum odoratum / vernal grass. Nardus stricta
  • 13. Aira praecox / early hair grass. Aira saespitusosa / turfy hair grass
  • 14. Aira aquatica / water hair grass
  • 15. Aira caryophyllea / silver hair grass. Aira flexuosa / mountn. hair grass
  • 16. Carex vesicaria / bladder carex. Carex arenaria / sea sand carex
  • 17. Agrostis capillaris / fine bent grass. Agrostis pumila / dwarf bent grass. Agrostis stolonifera / creeping bent grass
  • 18. Phleum nodosum / bulbous catstail. Alopecurus geniculatus / float foxtail grass
  • 19. Alopecurus pratensis / meadow fox tail
  • 20. Dactylis glomerulus / rough cocks foot grass.
  • 21. Avena pratense / mead. oat grass
  • 22. Avena flavescens / yellow oat grass
  • 23. Triticum juncium / sea wheat grass
  • 24. Bromus giganteus / tall brown grass. Bromus sylvatica
  • 25. Cynosurus crystalus / crested dogs tail, or Windle straws
  • 26. Arundo arenaria. Avena [illegible] / wild oats. Holcus lanatus / soft mead. grass
  • 27. Eriophorum polystachion. Equisetum palustris. Eriophorum vaginatum
  • 28. Filago germanico / childing cudweed. Solidago virgaurea / yellow golden rod
  • 29. Drosera rotundifolia. Solynum [?] percicaria. Senecio vulgaris / ragweed. Papaver rhoeas / corn poppy
  • 30. Anemone nemorosa / the wood anemone. Cicuta virosa / long leav'd water hemlock (very poisonous). Ranunculus aquatilis / various seaweed, water crowfoot. Potamogeton densus / frogs lettuce.
  • 31. Senecio viscosus / viscid groundsel. Vicia sepium / Falcala D.W., bush vetch. Vicia lathyroides / strangle tare. Vicia craca / tufted vetch
  • 32. Galium verum / ladies bed straw, or cheese rennet. Centauria jacens / horseknots. Hydrocotly vulgaris (flowers in August) / marsh pennywort. Thymus serpillum / wild thyme
  • 33. Thymus serpyllum / mother of tongue. Chaerophyllum temulum / wild chervil (very pestilential). Ononis arvensis / rest harrow
  • 34. Ranunculus sceleratus / celery leav'd crowfoot. Trollius europeus / Locar gowlans
  • 35. Bunium bulbo-castanum / Earth nut (arnot) or pignut. Ananthe crocala / hemlock dropwort (very poisonous)
  • 36. Isoetes tinctura / woad
  • 37. Geranium sylvaticum. Brasica napis / rape
  • 38. Sanguisorba officinalis / Burnet. Potentila reptens
  • 39. Scandex pecten / Venus's comb
  • 40. Stipa pennata / feather grass.

"Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower" : Artists' Books and the Natural World (Yale Center for British Art, May 15, 2014-August 10, 2014) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition]

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