Early 19th century German Black Forest botanical press

Early 19th century German Black Forest botanical press

Stock Number: FG_21008


An exquisite hand-crafted end of 18th or 19th century German Black Forest botanical flower press.


Base ca. 20 x 10 cm



Country of manufacture


Categories: Other Technology Antiques, Scientific, Natural history


The wood is finely hand-carved and features a calligraphic monogram of the Gothic letters W R within a wreath with vine leaves. The two plates are pressed into each other by clamps set on wooden threads. The press is seemingly carved from a lime (linden) or walnut tree wood. Toy manufacturers specializing in woodworking have operated in areas of present-day southern Germany: Bavaria and the “Black Forest” area of ​​Baden-Württemberg. The city of Nuremberg was known for its centuries-old tradition of fine engraving of sophisticated wooden toys and instruments, which led to its nickname in the 16th century as the city of “Makers of the Compass”. These manufacturers produced portable sundials, and in the 18th century, it was a center for the production of toys and visual glasses in German countries. The toy district in Bavaria, near Nuremberg, is particularly well known. Bavarian woodcarvers became world-renowned and featured at many international exhibitions, including the Great Exhibition, London (1851).

It is difficult to accurately date today such artefacts. Documents from manufacturers or marketers, or other historical sources are unknown and do not appear to have existed. The catalog of Catel (1790), may be used as some evidence for this craft, which has been most likely existing in the market for a few decades.  Peter Friedrich Catel (1747-1791) was a gifted and inventive precision mechanic from Berlin who brought the first illustrated goods catalog onto the market in 1790. His pedagogical approach to the invention of toys and his business sense made him known far beyond Germany. Being the puzzle and toy catalog of P.F. Catel, founded in 1780. Hundreds of toys are minutely described. There are magic squares and interlocking wooden puzzles and also optical toys, dollhouses, shuttlecocks, a bowling alley and pins, a toy apothecary shop, playing cards, swimming ducks, and much more.

We may generally attribute such items to the very late 18th or the 19th century.

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IL Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh was the mythological hero of the cultures of ancient West Asia, who set out on a journey in which he sought youth and eternal life.
Fleaglass Gilgamesh is located in Israel. As an archaeologist researching the material culture of the distant past and using the microscope as a major research tool, for more than two decades I have collected microscopes from the first 300 years of existence of this amazing tool and researched the cultural context of their use. Passion has become an obsession and I cultivate the full and almost unique West Asian collection of historical microscopes. Respectively, I put up for sale surplus or interesting items from the collection. I would be happy to advise any interested collector free of charge. Needless to say, I would love to send photos, information and bibliographic references, and discuss the sale details of the items offered here for sale.

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