HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY OF LONDON
Transactions of the Horticultural Society of London ... [With:] Transactions ... Second Series
London: W. Bulmer & Co. [and others], 1820-1830 [first series]; 1835-1848 [second series]. Together, 10 volumes (First Series: vols. I-VII; Second Series: vols. I-III [all published]), 4to. Seven engraved titles, 174 engraved plates (92 hand-coloured; 10 folding), after Hooker, Withers, Drake, Barbara Cotton, C.J. Robertson, Lady Broughton and others, engraved by W. Say, W. Clark and others, numerous illustrations. A few plates trimmed close in the first series, as usual.
[First series:] Early tree calf, covers bordered in gilt, spine gilt with morocco lettering piece, marbled endpapers and edges. [Second Series:] Early half calf and marbled paper covered boards.
Provenance: Howe Peter Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo (armorial stamp on spines of first series); William Willoughby Cole, 3rd Earl of Enniskillen (armorial bookplate in second series)
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, contains 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.
Dunthorne 142; Great Flower Books (1990) p. 160; Nissen BBI 2387.