Botanicals: Vintage American field flowers

eBay and me...we go way back.
  I enjoy looking and I use eBay to find specific collectables; it is the worlds largest antique mall after all.  Most of the time I really don't feel like I have snagged anything really wonderful,  but that was not the case last month when I found this collection of vintage field pressings.

This was a collection of botanicals pressed and mounted in a Herbarium book with the specimens identified both in the common and scientific names as well as the habitat.  These are the work of Helen Herr for her students at Hanging Grove High School in McCorpsburg, Indiana dated 1928.

I just about died when I looked through the book.  Each pressing is 11x16 and there was a total of about 30, all in amazing condition.  I love her handwriting and how she identifies where she found the plants:  roadside, woods, fields.   

I had 21 of the best framed in these simple grey-green 1" frames.  All of the plants have that wonderful faded color and the paper has darkened brown edges.  The identification plates are really great as well and are noted Hanging Grove High School.
When I laid these all out on my kitchen counter I was so amazed.  There was so much time and care put into each pressing and every one was different and special.

In the last three years I have yet to find the right art for this long windowless wall in my dining room but these are great here; hung in 3 rows of 7

And just when I thought I would never find anything good on eBay again.....
I feel so proud to have Helen's work hanging here in my dining room;

thank you Helen

  1. wow! those are amazing. i now feel the need to scour ebay all day!

  2. An amazing and beautiful find! They look wonderful in your dining room!

  3. those are just fabulous! and they look great on your wall. the frames are perfect, simple, so as not to detract from the plants and notes. i love that so much thought and love was put into those. what a treasure you found. i'm so glad you shared with us:)


  4. They look beautiful in your dining room! Love your house & blog!! Also, where did you find/buy your frames?


  5. Ok, I'm am so, so jealous!

    These are not just amazing, they are down-right drop-dead gorgeous. Priceless in my opinion. You are so lucky to have gotten them.

    Then you framed them perfectly and hung them in the perfect location. Like I said, I'm SO jealous. The good kind of jealous, I think!

    Your dining room in truly a work of art. I think it is my favorite in the whole wide blogosphere. No, it is my favorite.

    Your jealous friend,


  6. What a fantastic find! You framed them perfectly and hung them perfectly. They look so good on your dining room wall. I love Ebay! I agree, it is the largest antique mall. It almost takes the thrill out of the hunt though. But you would never have found these botanicals otherwise! Great post.

  7. They are absolutely perfect. It was meant to be. Score of the century. I'm so jealous. Your dining room is really looking gorgeous.

  8. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing those look...I'm a bit jealous :o)

  9. oooooo! HOW DID I MISS THESE!?!?!? You must have bought them a long time ago, becuase I've been scowering all posts for pressed botanicals for the past 4-months! :) These are perfection in your space. When you get tired of them though - you can send the ferns to me! :)

  10. Those look fabulous in your dining room! Congrats on your wonderful find. It inspires me to check eBay a little more often...

  11. Hi Kelley,

    The botanical prints look fabulous. What a'd have to be stoked!! (Aussie slang for thrilled). Dining room is looking fantastic. If I could have your home as my screen saver, I would, I would never get sick of looking at it. The frames for the prints are perfect as well. The prints were meant to come to you....all that work by Helen, appreciated by you. Thanks for sharing.
    Take care.
    Tasmania, Australia

  12. Absolutely LOVE these Kelley!
    A treasure and you are preserving it in a wonderful way.....
    your dining room is great!!!

  13. Fabulous, what a wonderful find and how lovely to put them in frames on your wall. I feel so sorry for myself now, because I made my own herbarium once and I don't even remember what happened to it, I should have treasured it!

  14. Hi everyone and I am so glad that you find these as wonderful as I do. I actually found them under Books/Manuscripsts and paid about $300 dollars but I got 30! The frames had to be custom made because of the size (Leigh, hope that helps) of the paper size was odd 11x16 and I didn't use any matting.

    It is really strange how you can come across some great stuff on eBay every now and then...ya just never know!


  15. Oh be still my hearT~

    You know...there is a true art to finding something...putting it in a different format and hanging perfectly.

    You my dear are an artist extraordinaire...

    LOVE these.

    Thank you Helen, indeed!

  16. What an AMAZING find!! They are gorgeous, Kelley and they look divine they way you framed and hung them. I love that they have a back story, too - Hat's off to Helen!
    Beautiful, beautiful!
    xo Isa

  17. OH man, Kelley....I love that!! Botanicals are my FAVorite and those are just absolutely beautiful. What a great find and so, so perfect for that space. I have never bought anything off of eBay (nor do I even look) but I'm thinking maybe I better start!!:)


  18. What a treasure! I love your dining room and they do look perfect there. I actually made my own botanicals for my dining room last year (made 6 total) and it's fun to watch them age even over the last year...I can't imagine 80 years. Great post and I love your blog!

  19. Mieke, It is so interesting when we do projects and then let them go. I have done many myself.

    Hi Kelli, didn't forget about your wallpaper comment A post for you is in the works. ps eBay is fun!

    Morning T, love the name by the way and thankyou!

  20. You are the best!:)

  21. WOW! fantastic - I actually took a college botanical class as an elective where we went into the woods each day collecting- I have a whole book of pressed botanical in my mother's attic - circa 1992 - that she would LOVE to get rid of! Thanks for the great idea to use these!!! (or maybe sell on ebay;-)

  22. Hi Carol, that is so wonderful, I would find them and frame them!


  23. Kelley…
    BEAUTIFUL!!! They're perfect on that wall. I can't imagine hanging them all! LOL Amazing... You are an inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing!


  24. Your herbariums look fantastic!
    Just beautiful.
    Love your dining chairs, BTW.


  25. I love them and they look great! I am so jealous...

  26. your home is delicious and these prints lookin amazing. you have such a great eye.

  27. Just found your blog! What a great find and such history to them. Love your dining room chairs too!

  28. I am so freakin' jealous! Fabulous. I can't believe it. I need to get back to ebay, of which I'm no stranger. Nice to have found you through Artie. thanks -s

  29. Any tips on how to hang them so straight?


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