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The Botanical Blueprint Collection

- Evolving the blueprints - Approximately two years ago I discovered an old guide book of the Melville Koppies close to where I live. This hand-typed book was compiled in 1967 for the Johannesburg Council for Natural History by Annabelle Lucas and Barbara Pike. It was called "Flowers of the Summer and Autumn Veld".The sketches in the book intrigued me and when my latest range started moving towards the beauty and importance of grasses,I decided to go and explore the "koppies". I then visited the South African Biodiversity Institute in Pretoria and was guided through the importance of our grasslands and also on the botanicals, some drawn by Sir John Herschel and his wife.This led us to the discovery of...

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Introducing The Blagrave's Ferns Collection

- Blagrave's Ferns 1860 - The Evolution team discovered an inspirational collection of evocative photograms while researching the history of South Africa’s botanical art. Thomas C. Blagrave, a retired lieutenant colonel from England, in 1860 created this rare photogram collection of ferns of South Africa. He made the first comprehensive study of ferns and recorded his findings in a unique format. We fell in love with the textures of the photographic paper and the iridescent effect of the film while the fern patterns were kept stark, clean and true to their natural state. Blagrave writes in the preface of the book: "The illustrations are photo prints made by myself at Wynberg, during the months of May, June and July, 1860,...

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The Field Notes & Veld Finds Collection

- Field Notes & Veld Finds - Centuries ago the |xam and San communities were the first to collect and use plants for medicinal and ritual purposes. They depicted the invaluable flora on rock, as it was the only medium they had to their disposal. One of our previous ranges Desert Diaries was dedicated to these communities. It was however only during the 17th century that Western artists and collector-explorers arrived to study and record these plants. South Africa’s plant wealth was captured on paper by a variety of artists, but it was specifically the plant-curious Dutch who accurately captured the beauty of our country’s rich variety of botanicals. Artists like Hendrik Claudius and Robert Gordon, whose animals and Euphorbia’s...

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