What's the deal with Vintage Botanical Prints?

September 01, 2023

What's the deal with Vintage Botanical Prints?


So, you're fascinated by vintage botanical prints? You're not alone.

These classic pieces of art are making a real comeback, blending nostalgia with modern style in a way that's impossible to ignore. Whether you're a long-time collector or a newbie captivated by your first piece, there's a world of flora and artistic skill to delve into.

The Origins of Vintage Botanical Prints

The history of botanical prints can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where botanical illustrations were used as a means of documenting plants for medicinal purposes. However, it was during the Renaissance period in Europe that botanical prints truly began to flourish.

During this time, explorers and botanists ventured out into new territories, discovering and cataloguing a vast array of plant species. These discoveries sparked a curiosity and fascination with the natural world, leading to the creation of botanical prints. These prints served as a visual record of the plants, allowing them to be studied and shared with others.

One of the earliest influential works in antique botanical prints was "Herbarum Vivae Eicones," published by Italian physician and botanist Pier Andrea Mattioli in 1507. This book featured illustrations of various herbs and medicinal plants, accompanied by descriptions. Mattioli's work was highly influential, laying the foundation for future botanical illustrations.

Throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, botanical prints became increasingly popular. Artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Albrecht Dürer incorporated botanical elements into their artwork, showcasing the beauty and intricacies of plant life.

In the 18th century, advancements in printing technology allowed for more detailed and accurate antique botanical prints. Artists such as Maria Sybilla Merian and Pierre-Joseph Redouté gained recognition for their botanical illustrations, capturing the essence and beauty of flowers and plants.

As time progressed, antique botanical prints transitioned from simple documentation to decorative art. They were used to adorn the walls of homes and provide a connection to nature. Today, botanical prints continue to be a popular choice in interior design, offering a timeless and classic aesthetic.

In recent years, botanical prints have evolved further, with modern interpretations incorporating bolder colours, abstract designs, and unique perspectives. While traditional botanical prints often feature a single plant or flower, modern interpretations embrace a sense of creativity and playfulness.

The enduring popularity of antique botanical prints can be attributed to their ability to bring a touch of nature into the home. They provide a sense of tranquillity and serenity, creating a connection with the natural world. Whether displayed as wall art, printed on textiles, or incorporated into various design elements, botanical prints have become a staple in interior design, adding a touch of beauty and sophistication to any space.

Types of Vintage Botanical Prints

Framed Botanical Prints

Let's get into the nitty-gritty. First up, framed botanical prints. These come pre-packaged with a frame that complements the art. Whether you opt for a rustic wooden frame or a classic black one, it's all about elevating the artwork. 

When it comes to hassle-free décor, framed botanical prints are your best mates.

Framed botanical print

Black and White Botanical Prints

Then, there are the monochromatic masters, black and white botanical prints. They're timeless and versatile, suiting almost any décor style.

Picture a print of a monochrome fern, its intricate fronds captured in varying shades of grey. It adds a classic, sophisticated touch that can seamlessly blend into a modern or rustic setting.

Black and white botanical print in a dining room setting

Tropical Botanical Prints

Fancy a touch of the exotic? Tropical botanical prints feature plants like palms and monsteras, bringing a warm, holiday vibe into your space.

Herb Botanical Prints

If you’re more of a culinary enthusiast, herb botanical prints are right up your alley. They depict herbs like rosemary, thyme, and basil, often in intricate detail.

Not only does it add aesthetic charm to your kitchen, but it's also a constant, visual recipe reminder for your next pasta sauce.


How to Identify Authentic Vintage Botanical Prints

Ah, the allure of authenticity. It's not just about the age of the print. Check for artist signatures, specific markings, or certificates of authenticity. A true vintage botanical print is likely to have a unique texture, irregularities in the paper, and perhaps even a story to tell.

Vintage Botanical Prints vs Modern Botanical Art

Old is gold, but modern has its merits too. Unlike vintage botanical prints that focus on intricate details, modern botanical art often incorporates abstract elements or digital renderings.

However, the charm of hand-drawn illustrations from yesteryears is irreplaceable, and many prefer the nostalgic touch of a vintage piece.

paxtons vintage botanical prints

Where to Buy Vintage Botanical Prints

Hungry for some classic flora on your walls? Websites like Lelloliving offer a curated collection of authentic vintage botanical prints, including the ever-popular framed botanical prints. Art fairs, auctions, and even thrift stores can also be treasure troves.

Styling with Vintage Botanical Prints

In Home Décor

Think beyond the frame. Vintage botanical prints serve as a focal point in a room. Pair them with minimalist furniture or go bold with floral textiles.

How to Hang Botanical prints

Most large pieces of art are hung via a wire on the back, make these will need a nail or screw and wall anchor to hang.

For very large and pieces, a mirror hanging cleat or Z bar (available on Amazon) is best for ease and peace of mind. These can safely hold many, many Kgs of weight for easily hanging art that's heavy or awkward.

Our framed botanical prints are simple to hang, we use acrylic glass to keep them lightweight (whilst still having the same clarity and UV protection) so you can even hang them with command strips...simple!

hanging a frame with a command strip

In Commercial Spaces

Who said they're only for homes? Cafes, boutiques, and even offices are spicing up their interiors with vintage botanical prints, taking their décor game to a whole new level.

Framed botanical prints in a cafe

Care and Maintenance of Vintage Botanical Prints

Cherish your art by protecting it. Keep it away from direct sunlight, and consider using UV-protected frames. 

Both glass and acrylic offer great clarity with ood UV protection. A little TLC goes a long way in preserving the lustre of your investment.


How much do vintage botanical prints typically cost? Prices vary depending on the rarity and condition. But you can find decent pieces starting from £50 upwards.

Are vintage botanical prints a good investment? Absolutely. Especially if you go for limited editions or those signed by renowned artists.

How can I tell if a botanical print is vintage? Look for tell-tale signs like paper aging, artist signatures, or a certificate of authenticity.


So, there you have it. Whether you're looking to invest in vintage botanical art or just hunting for some fabulous framed botanical prints to spice up your space, you're in for an exciting journey.

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