Floral Illustrations of the Seasons: Consisting of Drawings from Nature of some of the Most Beautiful, Hardy and Rare Herbaceous Plants cultivated in the Flower Garden, carefully arranged according to their Seasons of Flowering
By Roscoe, Mrs. Edward (née Lace)
Pp. (vi), 55 hand-colored copper-engraved and aquatint plates by Havell after Margaret Roscoe's drawings on wove paper with J. Whatman Turkey Mill watermarks dated 1828, interleaved with letterpress descriptions facing each color plate, section titles (Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter). Finely bound by Sangorski and Sutcliffe in three-quarter dark green morocco over pale green cloth boards, spine with five raised bands, gilt-lettered in three compartments and gilt floral decorations in other compartments, top page edge gilt, 4to (11.5 x 9 inches; 29 x 23 cm). The author was William Roscoe's daughter-in-law and was better known as a botanical artist under her maiden name Margaret Lace. This work was originally published in 7 fascicles from November 1829 to 1831. The volume was published in 1831; this reissue has a date of 1838 on the title page yet the watermarks on the color plates are dated 1828 as in the 1831 printing. In this work, plate 47 is placed as the frontispiece. Robert Havell's exquisite engravings and aquatints demonstrate his mastery as a natural history illustrator. The process for printing aquatint plates, used by Havell in Floral Illustrations of the Seasons, is uncommon. It was used in the early printing of some great flower books such as Thornton’s Temple of Flora (1799-1807). In the aquatint process, “the plate is covered in powdered resin and heated so that, when it cools, its resin coating has a fine network of cracks through which acid will etch the plate; gradations of tone are produced by stopping the etching at different stages, using varnish to protect the pale areas from acid while the darker areas are further etched. The printed result is a very fine network of irregular lines building up various depths of tone” (Rix - The Art of Botanical Illustration, 1981, p. 178). See also Stafleu and Cowan, TL-2, 9504; Nissen, BBI, 1676; Sitwell, Great Flower Books (1990), p. 133, Dunthorne 266 and Pritzel 7763. No ownership marks.
|Publisher||R. Havell, Marshall Simpkin and Thomas Richardson|
|Date Published Estimated||No|
|Edition||First edition (reissue)|
|Number of Volumes|
|Condition Description||Green morocco on the spine is lightly sunned, a few plates trimmed along the lower margin occasionally touching plate-marks but with no effect to color images, there is no plate number for plate 41; a tight, bright and clean copy in near fine condition.|