Monogram B in the index of a Vellum-bound album

Here is a monogram B in the index of a Vellum-bound album by Clarence Bicknell in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Even in a simple design like this, Clarence’s arts-and-crafts instincts and botanical art skills make a pleasing design. Plans are afoot to publish his Book of Guests in Esperanto which contains several such monogram initials… more news soon.

The flower used by Clarence in this design is Arctostaphylos uva-ursi L., Bearberry in English, Uva ursina in Italian. Family: Ericaceae. Found at high altitudes of Europe and also in North America and Asia. In the Alps grows both in siliceous and calcareous soils in open stoney areas. The plant is low (max 25 cm) with a creeping stem. Leaves collected in late Summer are used by herbalists as a diuretic ingredient. Flowering in late spring. Little waxy flowers white and pink in clusters. The little red berries are said to be greatly loved by bears, hence the name Bearberry.

Notes by Elisabetta Massardo Feb. 2022

No.54 in our series of designs by Clarence Bicknell (1842-1918) on of the great multi-talented renaissance men.