STRUTT, Jacob George (1784-1867)
Sylva Britannica; or, portraits of forest trees, distinguished for their antiquity, magnitude, or beauty. Drawn from nature
London: published for the Author by Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown and Green, . Imperial octavo. (10 1/4 x 6 7/8 inches). vii, 151, pp. Additional title on india paper mounted with etched vignette, 49 etched plates by Strutt, all on India paper mounted. (Foxing to the plates).
19th century purple morocco, covers bordered in gilt, spine with semi-raised bands in six compartments, lettered in gilt in the second, the others decoratively paneled in gilt, marbled endpapers, gilt edges
Provenance: Lucius O'Brien (armorial bookplates)
An attractive copy of the first octavo edition of this charming work: the deluxe issue with the plates all printed on india paper.
Rather than concentrating on generic descriptions of species of trees (although these are given), Strutt here provides a portrait in words and pictures of 50 of the greatest trees or stands of trees in England and Scotland: a snapshot of the trees as they stood in 1830. "Greatest" is here interpreted by Strutt in various ways: tallest, largest girth, largest spread, oldest, etc. The preponderence of the examples given are oaks (21), but he also includes examples of elm (6), beech (2), ash (2), chestnut (4), cedar (3), yew (3) and one each of lime, poplar, willow, plane, maple, sycamore, Scotch fir, silver fir and larch. This work was first published by Strutt in 1826 in a folio format, and was available by subscription at 9 guineas for the normal issue or for the issue with the plates on india paper 15 guineas (a list of the subscribers to this folio edition is included in the present octavo edition). For the present work, the folio plates were reduced and the folio text was modified to allow for the re-ordering of the trees into more coherant groupings. As with the folio edition, this work was offered in two forms: at £1 11s. 6d. for the normal issue or 3 guineas for the deluxe issue with the plates on india paper (as here).
Lowndes III, p.2534; Nissen BBI 1907.