Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Villeroy and Boch Dandelion

It's been a good year for the Dandelion Archive with quite a few donations to the collection and the purchase of a few objects.
Here is a Villeroy and Boch ceramic dish, made in Luxembourg, with dandelions showing leaves and the flower in bud, bloom and going to seed. Rather gorgeous isn't it?

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Dandelion Gravy Boat

At the beginning of this year I acquired this jug / gravy boat with dandelions on it - however I don't know the maker or pottery who made it. 'Summer Bower L.419' is painted on the bottom and there is a name stamp in the base, but it's so obscured by the glaze i can't read it. If anyone knows the maker please do get in touch via the comments.
It has a dandelion flower with leaves and seed head on one side of the jug and a smaller pattern of a dandelion in bud with leaf on the other side. It's now held in the Dandelion Archive and it's one of my favourite objects.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Dandelion Cigarette Card

Ages ago I saw that Will's Cigarettes had done a series of wild flower cigarette cards with one being a dandelion and i've been on the look out ever since to try and find either a single card or a complete album. I was in the wonderful Preston Flea Market the other week and on a stall selling old postcards, books and magazines i found a copy of a complete album!

An Album of Wild Flowers, Second Series was issued in 1937 by WD & HO Wills (branch of the Imperial Tobacco Company) priced at one penny. The dandelion is number 25 out of the 50 cards in the set.

The description is this: Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), Thistle family. Were it not so common and a weed so difficult to eradicate, this would be considered a beautiful flower. Although it can be found in bloom during a great part of the year its main flowering time is in spring, when it often turns fields and waysides into a blaze of gold. The origin of the name Dandelion is somewhat uncertain, for although it means "Lion's tooth", like the other botanical names which have been used for it - Leontodon dens-leonis - it is not agreed whether it is the lobes of the leaf or in the tips of the florets that the resemblance occurs.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Dandelion Scarf

The Dandelion Archive holds many objects and people often donate things to be included in the collection.
Here is a scarf donated to the collection - it has different plants in the pattern, one being a full dandelion flower with leaves and seed heads too. It's labeled Officinale Taraxacum which is latin for dandelion, however the words are the wrong way around (it should be Taraxacum officinale).

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Filippino Lippi Dandelion

I've just got back from 10 days in Italy visiting Bologna, Florence and a trip to the hills near Bibbiena too.
While in Florence I visited the Uffizi Gallery - an amazing evening looking at some incredible works of art. While in the gallery I spotted a couple of dandelions in Filipino Lippi's paintings: the one here is 'The Penitent St. Jerome' and is tempera on wood, dated c1493 - 5.
I have very elegantly marked where the dandelion is on the painting. It's a dandelion in seed, quite delicate and fragile with the dark of the rock behind giving it contrast.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

100 Flowers Collection

Ages ago one of my prints was selected for the 100 Flowers Collection for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's new South Glasgow University Hospital and Royal Hospital for Sick Children. Over 70 artists contributed to the program and i'm thrilled one of my screen prints of dandelions was chosen.
There's a really nice film about the art works in the hospital:


I'm happy to see there's a few other representations of the dandelion in the collection too. Fab!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Mason's Extract of Herbs

Newball and Mason were manufacturing chemists based in Nottingham in 1800's. It was Thomas Mason who invented the 'Extract of Herbs' a concentrated essence that could be made up into a non-alcoholic Botanic Beer. I've seen a couple of their 'Extract of Herbs' bottle labels and each has an illustration with a dandelion on it. The one here also features bees: 

"The little busy bee improves the shining hour and prefers Mason's Extract of Herbs before the laborious old fashioned method of extracting it itself"

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Iceland Dandelion Postage Stamp

I have a number of postage stamps in the Dandelion Archive from a number of different countries.
This stamp from Iceland, with a dandelion flower and seeds running down the side, was issued in 1960 in a series of wild flowers. Unfortunately i can't find the artist's name.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Polish Dandelion Postage Stamp

This is a lovely little stamp in the Dandelion Archive. It's a Polish stamp from 1974 with an artwork by Stanislaw Wyspianski, a playwright, artist, poet (1869 - 1907). Many of his works are held in the National Museum in Krakow - I can feel a trip coming on...

Austrian Dandelion Postage Stamp

Here's another example of a stamp in the Dandelion Archive with a dandelion on: it's a 2007 Austrian Lowenzahn from an Alpine Flowers series. 

Friday, 5 June 2015

German Dandelion Postage Stamp

Representing Germany with stamps in my Dandelion Archive is this stamp.*
It was released in 1977 and has the German for dandelion on the stamp: Lowenzahn
I'm struggling to find the artist who did the illustrations, however I did read in a stamp catalogue that the print run was 12,217,000 - if that's of any interest.

*I also have a first day over of this set this is from, with a lovely embossed dandelion on the envelope - please see March 2013 post on this blog.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Swiss Dandelion Postage Stamp

This is a really beautiful stamp in my Dandelion Archive: it's from Switzerland (Helvetia) and was released in 1960. It came in a set with other wild flowers, however it was the dandelion I was most interested in (obviously).

Eire Dandelion Postage Stamp

I have an Irish dandelion postage stamp in the Dandelion Archive too - it's a drawing of the plant (no artist is named on the stamp, but they are by Irish artist Susan Sex) and it has the Gaelic name for dandelion: Caisearbhan. It was released in 2004 from a series depicting the 'Wild Flowers of Ireland'.

Estonia Dandelion Postage Stamp

Here's a stamp from Estonia that is also in my Dandelion Archive. It has the Estonian for dandelion on it: Harilik voilill and is dated 2004. Designed by Lembit Lohmus it's a tiny little stamp measuring 23 mm x 23 mm

Friday, 29 May 2015

Critical Supplement to the Atlas of the British Flora

By complete coincidence in addition to the Atlas of the British Flora (please see post below) I have also been given a copy of the Critical Supplement to the Atlas of the British Flora edited by FH Perring, published by the Botanical Society of the British Isles in 1978. How that's interesting is the maps contained in this one give a more detailed view of the distribution of micro species, subspecies, varieties and hybrids. Here three dandelion species: Taraxacum palustre, Taraxacum spectabile and Taraxacum laevigatum.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Atlas of the British Flora

I was given a copy of Atlas of the British Flora edited by FH Perring and SM Walters and published for the Botanical Society of the British Isles by Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd in 1962.
The atlas contains distribution maps of nearly all the flowering plants and ferns native or naturalised in the British Isles. There are over 400 pages of maps showing the distribution of around 1,700 species and in the back of the book are transparent overlays to help the user to interpret the data and determine soil preferences, climate limits, altitude range etc...

A you can see from the map here Dandelion Taraxacum is pretty much recorded all over the British Isles.

A friend gave me the book as they knew i'd love all the maps and data and it's true - i really enjoy looking through it, it's a fabulous book.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Huddersfield Dandelion Trail

People interested in dandelions contact me frequently and also link me to other projects and relevant information etc - and the other day my friend sent a link to this fab project Huddersfield Dandelion Trail by artist / writer Kevin Boniface.
There is a Facebook page for the project here

The image here, by Kevin Boniface, is taken on the trail.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Phytology Dandelion

A beautifully drawn dandelion by artist Talya Baldwin was sited on a billboard in London for the Phytology project. The billboard, installed at the South-West corner of the Bethnal Green Nature Reserve, is hosting an evolving series of interventions across the spring, summer and autumn of 2015. Phytology is an action-research project bringing together artists and botanists to explore the ecology and medicinal properties of wild plants and weeds common to derelict and undeveloped urban sites.
Phytology is a Nomad and Cape Farewell project supported by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England and more details can be found  here:

The photo above is by Michael Smythe

Friday, 17 April 2015

Greeting cards

I'm often given greetings cards with dandelion images for the Dandelion Archive - and this one is particularly nice. It's called "Dandylions of London' by the self titled Nature Nut of Britain Samuel G Winterbourn. I noticed he uses the dandelion on a number of his designs - check out his website:


Tuesday, 31 March 2015

A Bug's Life Dandelion

Continuing with the dandelions in films theme (see post below) I watched A Bug's Life for the first time the other day and there's a fabulous dandelion in it. Released in 1998 by Disney/Pixar and based on the story of the ant and the grasshopper, the scene with the dandelion is where Flik leaves the colony in search of 'warrior bugs' to help fight the grasshoppers. Flik uses a dandelion seed to fly over a deep valley - watch the film to see what i mean. 
Pixar are amazing at animating the dandelion.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Toy Story 3 Dandelion

Dandelions make it into films too - not just by accident, but as deliberate additions. Here is a beautifully animated dandelion in Toy Story 3 (released in 2010) where Buzz Lightyear tries to woo Jessie - it's funny and wonderful and if you watch the film carefully you'll begin to notice a number of dandelions flowering in the playgroup playground too. The animators at Pixar are amazing and I love they've spent time portraying dandelions and including them in the storyline. 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Joseph Crawhall Dandelions

While in Edinburgh (see post below too) I bought a postcard from the National Galleries of Scotland showing The White Drake painted in 1895 by Joseph Crawhall. Unfortunately the original isn't on show at the moment, so I had to be content with the postcard, but i'm glad I spotted it.
The painting is watercolour and gouache on unsized brown linen, laid onto a wooden backboard. Crawhall was born in Morpeth, Northumberland and is chiefly known for his paintings of birds and animals.
I love this piece - the handsome duck wandering through a shaded field dotted with daisies and dandelions. Lovely.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Raphael Dandelion

I was in Edinburgh last week and was thrilled to find this dandelion in the National Galleries of Scotland.
The Holy Family with a Palm Tree is by Raphael and was painted around 1506 -7. 
If you look to the left behind Joseph there's a lovely example of a dandelion (I did get close up shots but decided to show the whole image here). 
This picture was painted in Florence where the circular format (tondo) was especially popular.