FURBER, Robert (circa 1674-1756, publisher) - After Pieter CASTEELS (1684-1749)
[from "Twelve Months of Flowers"]. London: Robert Furber, 1730. Copper engraving by Henry Fletcher after Casteels, contemporary hand-colouring. Image size (including text): 16 x 12 1/4 inches. Sheet size: 21 1/4 x 16 1/4 inches.
A fine example of this celebrated image from Furber's renowned series titled "Twelve Months of Flowers", here with excellent contemporary hand colouring and including the "Virginian Birchwort" (Aristolochia durior).
From the first edition of "a celebrated flower catalogue published by Robert Furber, a nurseryman from Kensington, then on the outskirts of London. Twelve Months of Flowers presented almost 400 different flowering species, grouped according to the month in which they flower. Reflecting in style the grand manner of the Baroque period, the flowers are arranged in elaborate bouquets and placed in elegant urns. Next to each flower appears a number, which corresponds to a name in the key printed at the bottom of the plate on either side of a cartouche inscribed with the name of one of the months of the year. Twelve Months was conceived as a flower catalogue, but its commercial function was adroitly veiled and the artistic quality of its illustrations distinguishes it from the more modest pamphlets generally produced by floriculturalists, including Furber himself, in this period. For the work Furber sought the collaboration of Pieter Casteels (1684-1749), an artist from Antwerp who had achieved great renown throughout England for his paintings of birds and flowers, which decorated the walls of many aristocratic homes. Casteels designed the plates, which were then engraved by Henry Fletcher.
Dunthorne 113; Great Flower Books (1990) p.95; Henrey II, pp.343-346 & III.733; Nissen BBI 674; Oak Spring Flora 37.