CURTIS, Samuel - John SIMS (editor)
Curtis's Botanical Magazine Vol. XLIV. Being the Second of the New Series.
London: printed by Stephen Couchman, published by Sherwood, Couchman & Jones, 1817. Volume 44, (2nd of New Series) octavo. (9 1/8 x 5 3/4 inches). Full mottled leather. Front and back cover detached. Complete with 82 hand-colored, engraved plates by Weddell.
A fine representative sample volume from the oldest illustrated botanical periodical still in production. "The reputation of the Magazine has always resided in the accuracy of its portrayal of plants. This pictorial record of garden and greenhouse plants from the temperate and tropical regions of the world has no rival.." (Desmond p.7)
William Curtis had witnessed from personal experience that his clients refused to buy folio pictures of unassuming plants (vide. his Flora Londinensis) but he felt that they would subscribe to an octavo work which pictured the showy plants that filled their gardens: from this premise was born the Botanical Magazine in February 1787. The work was immediately successful, was published throughout the 19th and 20th centuries and is still produced to this day. The main glory of the Botanical Magazine has always been the coloured plates. Many of the greatest British botanical illustrators of the last two hundred years have had worked published in this periodical: the majority of the earliest plates are by Sydenham Edwards; other artists who followed in his footsteps include James Sowerby, John Curtis, William Jackson Hooker and, for much of the second half of the 19th century, Walter Hood Fitch. In the 20th century the great tradition was continued by Lilian Snelling, Margaret Stones and others.
Ray Desmond A Celebration of Flowers Two hundred years of Curtis's botanical Magazine (Kew: 1987); Great Flower Books p. 83; Nissen BBI 2350; Stafleu & Cowan TL2 1290.