Some of "the Most Exquisite of all Flower Prints in their Beauty and Delicacy of Execution"


(London: R. Ackermann, 1814). 356 x 279 mm. (14 x 11"). [13] leaves of text.

Recent retrospective half calf, flat spine divided into panels by gilt Greek key roll, green morocco label. WITH 49 ATTRACTIVE ENGRAVINGS OF FRUITS AND FLOWERS (including the frontispiece) by T. L. Busby, 25 OF THE PLATES STIPPLE-ENGRAVED, PRINTED IN COLORS by B. McQueen, AND FINISHED BY HAND (the other plates printed in outline or else in "flat" color). Dunthorne 320 and 321; Nissen 2067 and 2068; "Great Flower Books," pp. 147-48. Occasional mild thumbing, otherwise AN ESPECIALLY FINE COPY, clean and bright internally, with rich coloring, in an unworn binding.

This is a beautiful copy of an exceptionally lovely botanical item based on Vincent's 1810 "Études de Fleurs et de Fruits," which Dunthorne says contains some of "the most exquisite of all flower prints in their beauty and delicacy of execution." The plates were engraved in reverse by T. R. Busby from the Lambert-Vincent illustrations used in the French edition. Dunthorne says that his work is notable for containing "the only English stipple engravings printed in colour by a printer whose name is recorded." The work is putatively a manual for students, and there is some text here that describes the plates in such a way as to be helpful to the aspiring painter. But certainly for today's collector, the book is a collection of outstanding botanical images. Henriette Antoinette Vincent (1786-1830) was one of the group of painters, among them Redouté, Prevost, and Turpin, who at the turn of the 19th century brought France preeminence in the genre of botanical paintings. Like her fellow artists, Vincent had studied with the great flower painter of the Jardin des Plantes, Gerard van Spaendonck, and later trained with Redouté, whose influence is unmistakable in the rose pictured in this work. The work is bibliographically confusing to begin with, and the present copy makes matters worse by atypically segregating all (but one) of the outline plates in the second part (after "The Elements" title page) and all of the fully colored plates in the first part. A work like this, enjoyed for its beauty and studied for its techniques, would usually be found in a dilapidated state, but the present item is remarkably clean and well preserved, with few signs of use. This is a very scarce work in any state: ABPC and American Exchange find just four copies at auction in the past 44 years, the last selling at Sotheby's New York in 2017 for $21,250, all in.