Pteridomania was a term used to describe the nineteenth century craze for all things fern related, an obsession that merged the Victorian love for collecting and their veneration of nature. Fern Fever brought together enthusiasts from different social classes, since anyone could create a collection of British ferns taken from the wild, though this accumulative zeal lead to significant reductions in some of the rarer species.


Miniature greenhouses, known as Wardian cases, were produced to emulate growing conditions, house fancy displays and to provide ferns - if not people - with protection from the polluted air. Other objects from the period show the legacy of ferns as motifs; the decorative arts applying feathery leaves and curly fronds to everything from christening presents to gravestones and memorials.

(2012) transfer-printed cloth, greyboard, cast metal

left: 400 x 320 x 200, centre: 450 x 230 x 230, right: 330 x 345 x 270 mm