MAY, A[nn] E[liza]; and W[illiam] MAY
Choice Flowers: A Collection of Drawings of Favourite Flowers, from the Garden and the Conservatory
[19th century]. (14 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches). Hand-coloured lithographed additional title, 31 hand-coloured lithographed plates. Some occasional foxing, and a small marginal split to the coloured title.
Publisher's red morocco, covers elaborately blocked in blind, upper cover stamped in gilt.
First and only edition of a rare flower book with hand-coloured lithographs after drawings by a noted nurseryman's daughter.
William May, who ran the Hope Nurseries, at Bedale in Yorkshire, wrote the text to accompany the well-drawn plates by his daughter, Ann Eliza May, which depict both single flowers and mixed groups. "The Delineations are made from some of the most popular and beautiful plants at present introduced; the Volume is offered with confidence as to the care and fidelity with which the series have been executed; and she flatters herself that it will be found not only useful as a work of reference to the Botanist and a source of amusement to lovers of Flowers in general, but also instructive to the younger branches of her friends, who may wish to cultivate their taste in the elegant and delightful recreation of Drawing" (Preface). The list of subscribers includes only 72 names, subscribing to 75 copies.