image ms_109_56
Image number: RS.18004
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Spruce fir tree specimen




Jacob van Huysum (1682-1745, Dutch), Painter

Object type

Archive reference number



height (page): 372mm
width (page): 270mm



Botanical study of a specimen of Piceae abies, common name spruce fir tree. Depicts a branch with brown bark, green needle-like leaves, and small brown cones on the ends of branches.

Painting 56 from MS/109, a collection of botanical paintings by Jacob van Huysum and William Sartorius.

Inscribed in ink 'Abies piceae foliis brevioribus conis minimis'. Not signed.

According to Philip Miller's The Gardener's Dictionary (1735), specimens of this tree were first brought from America and planted in Devonshire and Cornwall. A variant of this painting is reproduced in the Society of Gardeners' Catalogus Plantarum (1730) (plate 1, central figure, engraved by by Elisha Kirkall).

Jacob van Huysum (1682-1745), Dutch botanical painter, was not a Fellow of the Royal Society. He produced most of the 50 illustrations for the Historia Plantarum Rariorum (London: 1728-38) written by John Martyn FRS, and all the drawings for Philip Miller’s Catalogus Plantarum, an index of trees, shrubs, plants and flowers.

Philip Miller (1691 - 1771) English botanist was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1730.

Object history

Repeated in the British Museum collection, SL,5284.3. Slight variations to the Royal Society copy. Digital image available on online catalogue.

Associated place

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