SWEET, Robert (1783-1835)
Geraniaceae. The Natural Order of Gerania
London: James Ridgway, 1820-1830. 5 volumes, 8vo. (9 3/8 x 5 7/8 inches). 500 hand-coloured engraved plates by S. Watts after Edwin Dalton Smith, heightened with gum arabic. Publisher's ads.
Contemporary full green morocco, spines gilt with raised bands in six compartments, red and brown morocco lettering piece, marbled endpapers, gilt edge
Provenance: Frederick du Cane Godman (bookplates)
A fine set of the first edition of Sweet's beautiful monograph on the Geranium and practical guide to its cultivation.
An invaluable source of information on the numerous varieties of geranium introduced into the gardens of Great Britain, each plate accurately illustrates a single variety, accompanied by a taxonomic description and instructions for its cultivation and care.
A horticulturalist, botanist and ornithologist, Sweet was born and raised in Devon, serving his apprenticeship under his half-brother James in the gardens at Ham Green, residence of Richard Bright. He was subsequently gardener to John Julius Angerstein at Woodlands. From 1810 until the mid-1820s he worked as a nurseryman at Stockwell, Fulham and Chelsea, being elected a fellow of the Linnean Society in 1812. After 1826 he devoted himself almost entirely to botanical publications.
Dunthorne p.241; Great Flower Books (1990) p.141; Nissen BBI 1926; Stafleu and Cowan 13.543.