Botanical / PlantsFine Art

Cactus Illustrations – Dr. Ludwig Georg Karl Pfeiffer

18th Century Cactus Illustrations

Four of the seven cactus illustrations on this page are signed “Dr. Pfeiffer” or “Pfr” and we believe that they are most likely from the hand of the distinguished 19th Century cactus expert Dr. Ludwig Georg Karl Pfeiffer.

A portrait of Dr. Pfeiffer and sample of his signature can be seen to the right.

Dr. Ludwig Pfeiffer was a German physician, botanist and conchologist. Born in 1805 in Kassel Germany, he was the son of the lawyer Burkhard Wilhelm Pfeiffer. He served as the doctor to the army of the November Uprising in Poland in 1831.

Fascinated by natural history, he later gave up his medical practice. His first published work was about Cactuses grown in German gardens. In 1938 he traveled to Cuba to study Cactii, but became fascinated with the study of mollusk shells.

We are seeking further information abou the illustrations below and whether they may indeed be by the hand of Pfeiffer. Three of the paintings are signed Braemer, and we wonder if he may have been a collaborator of Pfeiffer’s.

Each of the drawings has a plate number, and they appear to have been preliminary sketches for a botanical publication.

Portrait and signature
of Dr. Ludwig Pfeiffer


Cereus varibilia – Signed “Pfr”

Opuntea cocinellifera – signed Dr. Pfeiffer

Pereskia Bleo – signed Dr. Pfeiffer Rhipsalis platycarpa – Signed Dr. Pfeiffer The signature Dr. Pfeiffer appears on three of the
four preceding illustrations

The signature Bramer (Braemer?) appears on the three illustrations below

Echinocactus oijpshocantus – Signed Bramer Echinocactus uncinatus
Signed Bramer Rhipsalis Cassiptha Garnt
Signed Bramer