CURTIS, William (1746-99) and John SIMS (1749-1831). The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed. London: Fry and Couchman [vols I-II] and Stephen Couchman [vols III-XXIV] for W. Curtis [vols. I-XIV] and T. Curtis [vols XV-XXIV], 1787-1806 -- General Indexes to the Plants Contained in the First Twenty Volumes of the Botanical Magazine. London: Stephen Couchman for the proprietors, 1805.
Vols I-XXIV and General Indexes bound in 13, 8° (231 x 138mm). Engraved portrait frontispieces in vol. I [dated 1800] and index vol., 953 (of 968) engraved plates by F. Sansom et al. after Sydenham Edwards, James Sowerby et al., including 903A and B and 923*, all but 2 hand-coloured, 11 folding. Index leaves to each volume bound in, cancellans text for 532 and 717. (Some spotting, browning, and offsetting from plates onto text, occasional dampmarking, a few text leaves with short tears, one plate with clean tear neatly reinforced on verso, 3 plates creased and torn, lacking vol. XVIII title, 15 plates and text to 14 plates). Contemporary speckled calf, covers ruled in gilt (boards somewhat worn, blocks of 3 vols. split, all vols. with hinges reinforced and rebacked). Provenance: Sir George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont, Petworth (1751-1837, booklabels) -- Petworth Club and Institute (inkstamps on endpapers and margin of one index leaf, versos of some plates and margin of portrait in index vol., shelfmarks on endpapers and titles) -- Library of Arthur Sanderson & Sons (probably purchased by Harold William Sanderson (1863-1958); inkstamps on endpapers and blank pages, shelfmark labels on endpapers and spines).
FIRST EDITIONS. THE EARL OF EGREMONT'S SET OF 'THE MOST CELEBRATED OF ALL BOTANICAL MAGAZINES' (Cleveland Collections). Curtis began the Botanical Magazine in 1787, to attempt to cover some of the losses incurred by his Flora Londinensis (London: 1775-98); however, instead of limiting his scope to plants commonly found within a 10-mile radius of London, 'the new venture was supposed to portray the more popular exotic plants -- although one will note that a surprisingly large number of the more common plants appear during the time that Curtis edited the magazine (op. cit.). This changed following Curtis' death in 1799, when John Sims took over the editorship and introduced more exotic specimens into the journal's pages, including some South African examples. This set is from the library of the noted art collector and patron of Turner, 'who made Petworth House a nursery of art and a college of agriculture' (DNB XXI, p.1159). Vol. I of the set has the first state title-page dated 1787 and no volume number. Brunet II, col.446; Cleveland Collections 577; Henrey 472 (noting second state of vol. I title dated 1790); Nissen BBI 2350; Pritzel 2007. (13)