ANDREWS, Henry C. (fl. 1794-1830). Coloured Engravings of Heaths. London: T. Bensley [volume I] and Richard Taylor and Co. [volumes II-IV] for the author, -1802-1805-.
4 volumes, 2° (411 x 258mm). Half-titles, vol. I with engraved dedication, the text printed on the rectos only in English and Latin. 288 hand-coloured engraved plates by and after Andrews printed in green and black, some heightened with gum arabic. (Variable spotting.) Contemporary green morocco by J. Clarke, covers with wide borders formed from a floral roll within fillets and rolls, gilt turn-ins, spines gilt in compartments, lettered in two and at the foot, the other compartments decorated with floral and foliate tools, gilt edges (spines lightly faded, unobtrusive scattered marking).
FIRST EDITION. A COMPLETE SET OF ANDREWS' 'FINEST ACHIEVEMENT ... NOBLE IN CONCEPTION AND IMPRESSIVE IN EXECUTION; with the exception of Francis Bauer's wonderful figures of heaths in Aiton's Delineations of Exotick Plants, there are no better representations of the genus; never since have so many been successfully cultivated in England' (Blunt and Stearn). As Andrews states on the title, the illustrations were drawn and engraved by Andrews 'from living plants only', and he also wrote the descriptions which give 'the appropriate specific character, full description, native place of growth, and time of flowering of each ... Each figure accompanied by accurate dissections of the several parts (magnified where necessary) upon which the specific distinction has been founded, according to the Linnaean system' (loc. cit.). Many of the examples cited are native to the Cape of Good Hope, although some indigenous to Portugal are also included; the specimens illustrated are from various sources, the bulk being cultivated by Lee and Kennedy, nurserymen of Hammersmith.
Although the four volumes are dated 1802, 1805, 1809, and 1805 respectively the Coloured Engravings of Heaths was originally published in parts between 1794 and 1830. The 'Dissertation concluded' in volume III states that Andrews 'first began to delineate the Erica family in ... 1794, and some plates in volume I are watermarked '1794' and bear the same date in the plate; in volume IV some of the plates are watermarked '1825', and the descriptions of the Erica suaveolens and Erica undulata cite specimens cultivated in 1828. This copy is distinguished by the presence of the fourth volume, which is described by Dunthorne as 'very rare' and by Nissen as 'sehr selten'. BM(NH) I, p.46; Cleveland 674 (volumes I-III only); Dunthorne 9; Nissen BBI 31; Pritzel 174; Stafleu and Cowan 134. (4)