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Wickham, Harriet, 1766–1847

A collection of English grasses.

England, circa 1792-1808.
Physical Description:
1 v. ([1], 105 leaves) : ill. ; 38 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
SB202.G7 W53 1792+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
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Archives & Manuscripts
Harriet Wickham (1766-1847), of Cottingley Hall, Leeds, was an amateur botanist and sister of the famed diplomat and spymaster William Wickham (1761-1840).
Selected exhibitions: "Ocean Flowers: Impressions from Nature" (The Drawing Center, New York, 26 March-22 May, 2004; Yale Center for British Art, 12 June-8 August, 2004)
Pen and brown ink; graphite; green, brown, red and yellow wash.
Bound in gilt-tooled tree calf portfolio, with marbled end-papers.
Armorial bookplate of William Wickham, with motto "Manners makyth man" on inside of upper board.
Also present in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art is an album of watercolors of flowering plants in Yorkshire and Cumbria, made by Wickham from 1796 to 1803 (Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Folio A 2016 34). See link provided herewith.
Of green leaf, bird, and flower: artists' books and the natural world, p. 121
Album of illustrations of English grasses, with descriptions of each grass, compiled by Harriet Wickham, circa 1792-1808. Most of the 45 illustrations are executed in watercolor over graphite; a few are in graphite alone. The text is written in pen and brown ink. The entire work appears to be in the hand of Harriet Wickham, whose autograph appears on the verso of the first free end-paper.
The album begins with an introduction, captioned, "A collection of English grasses: observations extracted from different authors." Within this introduction, there are sections on "Directions for sowing the best kind of grass seeds" and "Observations on the grass's recommended." The illustrations are captioned with the name of the species of grass in Latin and English, and sometimes with the location of the specimen and the date it was observed. The descriptions of individual grasses are consistent in form, with notes on the physical characteristics of the grass, its flowers, native geography, and growing conditions.
Six hand-colored engraved plates from Curtis's Botanical Magazine, evidently used by Wickham as an aid to her drawing, were laid into the volume (and are now removed to a supplemental enclosure).
Subject Terms:
Botanical specimens -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Botanizers -- Great Britain.
Grasses -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Wickham, William, 1761-1840 -- Bookplate.
Women botanizers -- Great Britain.
Women in natural history.
Women in science -- Great Britain.
Botanical illustrations.
Graphite drawings.
Armorial bookplates (Provenance)
IIIF Manifest:

"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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