The Old Print Shop

Costmary or Alecoast. Balsamita mas or Costus hortorum.

  • ARTIST: Elizabeth Blackwell

  • MEDIUM: Engraving, hand colored,

    DATE: 1737.

  • EDITION SIZE: Sheet 17 3/8 x 11" (44.2 x 28 cm).

  • DESCRIPTION: Plate 98. From "A Curious Herbal, containing five hundred cuts of the most useful plants which are now used in the practice of Physick....” Drawn from life, engraved and hand colored by Elizabeth Blackwell. After learning that an accurate account on herbals was needed, Blackwell moved closer to the Chelsea Physic Garden in London (founded in 1673 as the Apothecaries' Garden - for the training of apprentices in identifying plants) to observe plants under cultivation. This book illustrates many of the then ‘unknown new world' plants as well as more familiar and was used by physicians as a reference to medicinal plants. <br><br> This engraving depicts Tanacetum balsamita, which was better known as balsamita mas in past when it was commonly used for gastrointestinal issues because of it's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. It also acted as a pain reliever.


  • CONDITION: Good condition.

  • REFERENCE: Dunthorne #42.