FURBER, Robert (circa 1674-1756, publisher) - After Pieter CASTEELS (1684-1749)
London: Robert Sayer and John King, circa 1770. Engraving, coloured by hand, by R. Sheppard. Image size (including text): 19 x 11 3/4 inches. Sheet size: 13 1/2 x 9 3/8 inches.
A very rare image that is both a highly decorative botanical print and an important document in the history of gardening.
The plate comes from a very rare later issue of a series called 'Twelve Months of Flowers', originally issued by Robert Furber in 1730. Furber was a nurseryman with gardens near Hyde Park Gate in Kensington, London. The series was issued as a luxurious catalogue for his stock: over 400 flowers are illustrated, and each is identified in the key below the picture so that customers could easily order their requirements. These plates thus form an illustrated check-list of the varieties and forms of flowers that were popular with gardeners in the early 18th century. Furber later issued a small quarto book which contained reduced versions of the original plates. The present plate, published by Sayer, is from a very rare later version, re-engraved yet again, but to a size that is mid-way between the original and the quarto issue.