HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY OF LONDON
Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London ... [Bound with:] Transactions ... Second Series
London: W. Bulmer & Co. [and others], 1820-1830 [first series]; 1835-1848 [second series]. 10 volumes (first series: vols. I-VII; second series: vols. I-III [all published], 4to (11 3/4 x 9 inches). Seven engraved titles, 175 plates, including 91 hand-coloured engraved plates, after Hooker, Withers, Drake, Barbara Cotton, C.J. Robertson, Lady Broughton and others, engraved by W. Say, W. Clark and others, 9 folding plates, numerous illustrations. Uncut. (Minor foxing and browning).
Expertly bound to style in half green straight grain morocco and period marbled paper covered boards, spines with raised bands in six compartments, lettered in the second and fourth, the others with a repeat decoration in gilt
Provenance: Dr. Edward Scudamore (1778-1850, ink signatures); Arnold Arboretum (ink stamp on endpaper)
A rare complete run of the most important British pomological and botanical journal of its day, and a showcase for the talents of some of the greatest botanical artists working in Britain at the time.
The Horticultural Society of London was founded by Sir Joseph Banks, John Wedgwood and others in 1804 and become The Royal Horticultural Society in 1861. The Transactions, the leading horticultural journal of its time, contain valuable contributions on fruits and vegetables, particularly peaches, strawberries, apricots, cherries and gooseberries by T. A. Knight, George Lindley, James Barnet, and Robert Thompson, and others.
William Hooker (no relation to Sir William) served as botanical artist to the Horticultural Society (now the Royal Horticultural Society) from 1812 until he retired in 1820. The present work includes a good selection of plates taken from his fruit paintings which, according to Blunt and Stearn, reveal him to have been "one of the greatest pomological artists of all time" (The Art of Botanical Illustration, p. 233). There are also some excellent examples of the work of Sarah Drake (including a particularly fine folding plate of the orchid Cattleya guttata) and Augusta Withers (the luminous quality of the fruit in the Ickworth Imperatrice Plum plate is remarkable), who combined their talents to such memorable effect in James Bateman's Orchidaceae of Mexico and Guatemala (London: 1837-1843)
As usual, this set a mixed edition: vols. 1-2, third edition; vol. 3, second edition; vols. 4-7 and second series vols 1-3, first edition. Unusually, this set is uncut, with deckle edges. As many of the plates are printed close to the sheet edge, sets of the Transactions are often found with the plates trimmed into the subject; a fault not found in this uncut set. Complete sets of both the first and second series and complete with all the plates are seldom encountered.
Dunthorne 142; Great Flower Books (1990) p. 160; Nissen BBI 2387.