Sandtique Rare Prints
1756 Hand-Colored from Culpeper's Herbal (SPLEEN WORT)
ANTIQUE HAND-COLORED COPPER ENGRAVING PRINT FEATURING CULPEPPER'S HERBSThis 255 year old engraved print is from a the book "CULPEPER'S ENGLISH PHYSICIAN & COMPLETE HERBAL" by Nicholas Culpeper & Ebnezer Silby, dated 1756. The publisher was The British Directory Office of London. This book sells for up to $1,000 on the Internet.
Culpeper studied at Cambridge, and afterwards became apprenticed to anapothecary. Culpeper married the daughter of a wealthy merchant, which allowed him to set up a pharmacy in the halfway house in Spitalfields, London, outside the authority of the City of London at a time when medical facilities in London were at breaking point. Arguing that "no man deserved to starve to pay an insulting, insolent physician", and obtaining his herbal supplies from the nearby countryside, Culpeper was able to provide his services for free. Using a combination of experience and astrology, Culpeper devoted himself to using herbals to treat the illnesses of his patients.
During the early months of the English Civil War he was accused of witchcraft and the Society of Apothecaries tried to rein in his practice. Alienated and radicalised he joined a trainband in August 1643 and fought at the First Battle of Newbury, where he carried out battlefield surgery. Culpeper was taken back to London after sustaining a serious chest injury from which he never recovered. He died of tuberculosis in London on 10 January 1654 at the age of 38.
Influenced during his apprenticeship by the radical preacher John Goodwin, who said no authority was above question, Culpeper became a radical republican and opposed the "closed shop" of medicine enforced by the censors of the College of Physicians. In his youth, Culpeper translated medical and herbal texts such as the 'London Pharmacopaeia' from the Latin for his master.
Follow-up publications included a manual on childbirth and his main work, 'The English Physician', which was deliberately sold very cheaply, eventually becoming available as far afield as colonial America. It is the most successful non-religious English text ever, and has been in print continuously since the 17th century.
Culpeper believed medicine was a public asset rather than a commercial secret, and the prices physicians charged were far too expensive compared to the cheap and universal availability of nature's medicine.
Culpeper was a radical in his time, angering his fellow physicians by condemning their greed, unwillingness to stray from Galen and their use of harmful practices such as toxic remedies and bloodletting. The Society of Apothecaries were similarly incensed by the fact that he suggested cheap herbal remedies as opposed to their expensive concoctions. His influence is demonstrated by the existence of a chain of "Culpeper" herb and spice shops in the United Kingdom, India and beyond, and by the continued popularity of his remedies among New Age and alternative holistic medicine practitioners.This Hand-Colored copper engraving is on a page that is 8 " x 5 " (back side blank). It is in good condtion with the ususal yellowing and staining due to age. It is suitable for framing and would be an excellent gift for a print collector, doctor, pharmacist or a botany buff.
The engraving that is being sold is of "SPLEEN WORT & SPEEDWELL, P385"
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On Feb-08-13 at 15:19:40 PST, seller added the following information:
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