12th Aug, 2021 10:30

The Clocks, Scientific & Musical Instruments Auction

Lot 1146


containing specimens of the plants, fruits, seeds, gums, etc. mentioned in the bible, contained in a hardwood chest 54.5cm wide

Note: The study of both plants and animals in Victorian England was encouraged by the Church who considered that increasing knowledge and understanding could only further the interest in God's creation. Indeed, the author of a pamphlet which was released alongside this collection, Henry Baker Tristram, member of the Royal Society, was himself a clergyman, Church Missionary Society activist and initially, at least, a supporter of Darwin's Theory of Evolution; he strongly believed that religion and science were mutually supportive studies.

This herbarium contained a number specimens of plants found in the Holy Land including 'The Christ Thorn', the plant from which it was believed that the Crown of Thorns was made prior to Christ's crucifixion, and the pamphlet explained the Biblical references as well as providing scholarly information.

Priced at 2 guineas, several hundred pounds in today's money, the herbarium was bought by schools, universities and wealthy amateur naturalists and was used in the growing Sunday School movement to fire the childrens' imagination and increase the wonder of God.


A condition report is offered as an indication of any issues visible to the naked eye. As none of our staff is a professional conservator or restorer, buyers must satisfy themselves in respect of condition. The condition report does not form part of any contract between McTear's and the buyer, and all lots are offered "as is" in accordance with our Terms of Business available on our website.


Sold for £460
Estimated at £300 - £500

Condition Report
Biblical Herbarium is in nice condition. Box has surface wear in keeping with age and use. All boxes have specimens present. Some glass phials have been chipped. 'Black Mustard' phial is empty, appears to have spilled in the box; remaining glass phials have specimens present.

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