FREEMAN, Strickland (d.1821), [& Dr. George SHAW (1751-1813). - Charlotte STRICKLAND (1759-1833) & Juliana Sabina STRICKLAND (1765-1849)
Select Specimens of British Plants
London: printed by W. Bulmer & Co. and sold by G. Nicol, 1797 [watermarked 1794]. Part I only (of 2), folio. (22 1/2 x 17 inches). Uncut. 5 plates printed in colours and finished by hand, engraved by William Skelton after drawings by Juliana Strickland (3) and Charlotte Strickland (2).
Original paper-backed marbled paper-covered boards, the upper cover with original small format letterpress title label pasted on at the centre original boards
A fine unsophisticated copy of the first part of this rare and beautiful illustrated botanical work.
The spectacular plates are the chief glory of this work: they are from the drawings of the talented sisters Charlotte and Juliana Strickland, daughters of Sir George Strickland Bt. of Boynton, Yorkshire. From the early 1800s they lived at Apperley Court, Gloucestershire (the home of their brother Henry Eustachius Strickland). As the preface to the present work makes clear, their cousin (and brother-in-law) Strickland Freeman was keen to see their work published, but felt that the engravers and colourists of the day would not be able to do justice to the very fine originals. The publication of Bauer's Delineations of exotick plants ... at Kew in 1796 apparently changed Freeman's mind, and at his own expense he set out to publish (and edit, with the help of Dr. George Shaw) what became the present work. Only two parts with 10 plates ever appeared, but the quality of the plates was recognised and Sir J.E. Smith refers to "those exquisite elaborate plates ... said to be the performances of two ladies, who certainly rank as artists in the first line."
The book, complete or incomplete, is very rare. There are only two copies on Copac: the British Library (complete) and Natural History Museum (part 1 only, as here). OCLC adds the Fisher Library in Toronto, and the BSB in Munich, but it is not clear if these last two are complete. Only two complete and two incomplete copies are listed as having sold at auction in the past thirty five years.
Cf. BM (NH) II, p.616; cf. Henrey III, 722; cf. Nissen BBI 1904; cf. Pritzel 3037.