Image from page 213 of "Art-studies from nature, as applied to design : for the use of architects, designers, and manufacturers" (1872)
Publisher: London, Virtue & co.
Contributing Library: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library
Digitizing Sponsor: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library
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to be found moulded and painted on worksof ornament and utensils for domestic use through all ages. Numerous and ever graceful as are the forms of the livingvegetable world—and these have been extensively copied—thereis a vast field within which diligent search will discover a greatvariety of plants, which are no less beautiful and far less commonthan their living analogues, in the bygone flora preserved sostrangely in those strata which mark the mutations of ourmysterious world. The flora of the Carboniferous period was of a most extra-ordinary character, and luxuriant to an extent far exceeding eventhat which is now exhibited in the forests of equatorial climes.Growing most rapidly and of a lax tissue, these plants were ofshort duration, and were after death rapidly converted into a massof uniform structure, such as we have now exhibited in every bed 198 ART-STUDIES FROM NATURE. of fossil fuel. Three hundred species of plants belong to the Coal formations of Great Britain alone
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and it is found that localcauses, with which we arenot acquainted, have modi-fied in a strange mannerthe plastic vegetation of thisperiod; and in what ap-pear to be analogous posi-tions we find whole generaand even orders of plants ofvery opposite botanical cha-racter, presenting a greaterdisparity of vegetation thancountries the most remotein geographical position.*Thus within a small areawe have a variety of strangeforms, few of which do notadapt themselves for orna-mental purposes. Fig. 16 is the Pecopterislonchitica or Mantellt, a fernabundantly found in the * See Dr. Hooker On the Vege-tation of the Carboniferous Period,Memoirs of the Geological Survey ofGreat Britain, Gfc, vol. ii. FORMS OF ORGANIC REMAINS. 199 coal-beds of Newcastle-on-Tyne, which is indeed allied to someof the existing ferns of New Zealand, but differing from them inmany of its markings. The graceful arrangement of the frondparticularly distinguishes this species. Our next figure, the Pecopterts orcopteridius
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