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Friday 1 July 2016

Francis Sansom's “Tussilago Petasites” (aka. Butter-burr) (1777–78)

Francis Sansom (1780–1810)
“Tussilago Petasites” (aka. Butter-burr) (1777–78), published in the first edition (approximately 300 copies) of William Curtis’ (1746–99) “Flora Londinensis, or, Plates and descriptions of such plants as grow wild in the environs of London: with their places of growth, and times of flowering, their several names according to Linnæus and other authors: with a particular description of each plant in Latin and English : to which are added, their several uses in medicine, agriculture, rural economy and other arts”, 1777, Curtis, Vol. 2: t. 59 [134].
Engraving on wove paper with hand colouring in watercolour (as published in "Flora Londinensis”)
Size: (sheet) 47 x 28.9 cm; (plate) 44.4 x 26.3 cm
Condition: extremely rare (only 300 copies), crisp impression with superb hand-colouring and margins as published. The sheet is in excellent condition for its age with only minor signs of age toning at the edges. There is an ink stamp verso from the library which deacquisitioned the print.

I am selling this extraordinary engraving of the utmost rarity (only 300 copies exist) hand-coloured by a true master of watercolour for first edition (1777) of Curtis’ “Flora Londinensis” for a total cost of AU$189 (currently US$140.54/EUR126.42/GBP104.31at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this magnificent botanical engraving of the highest order of skill, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

As most racy gentlemen would know, this plant is useful in the treatment of gonorrhoea. (As I am not a racy gentleman I cannot tell you how it is useful.) From my research, Rosenberg describes his use of it for an “extremely violent gonorrhoea, penis swollen, painful, emission of urine extremely painful, mixed with blood, patient feverish and restless” and offers the following account:
“Tuss. p. [Tussilago petasites] was given in water.
There was a great aggravation of all symptoms in thirty-six hours.
The remedy was discontinued and marked amelioration followed.
Resumed again, much diluted, rapid cure followed.
The remedy was used externally as well in this case.” (see

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