This hand colored engraving of the "Musch Musch Apricot" appeared originally in 1831 in "The Transactions of the Horticultural Society". The original art work was done by Mrs. Augusta Withers (1792-1869), one of the leading English women artists of that period. It is a beautifully and subtly colored image of a species of apricot that was close to the original wild form of the fruit. The color is excellent and the print was mounted behind a double matting which we retained. The previous owners had it lightly cleaned. Some of the discoloration remained so they had the matting obscure any toning. The reference to Mrs. Withers and the engraver, J. Clark are under the mat (please see photographs which show the names.) It is framed in a simple gilded wood frame.
Augusta Withers was regarded as one of the great women botanical painters of her time. Even today original art work by her is in the permanent collections of the Natural History Museum in London, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, and the Lindley Library of the Horticultural Society in London. Her work was used to illustrate some of the premier publications of the first half of the 19th Century. The print making always was as exquisite as her own art work upon which it was based. This fruit print is an excellent example of her work and the prints that came from it.
Condition is good except for minor toning which was kept behind the current mat and does not impair the visible image in any way. Color is bright and appears to be original throughout. Frame and matting are vintage and in good condition as well as very attractive.
Measurements are: print (full sheet), 8 3/4 inches x 11 1/4 inches; frame, outer dimensions, 18 inches x 16 inches.
This handsome and beautifully colored 19th Century print is by a woman artist thereby making it doubly collectible. From the historical as well as the decorative perspective it would make a handsome addition to any collection.
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