19 November 2003
NATURE PRINTING -- Thomas MOORE (1821-1887). The Ferns of Great Britain and Ireland... Edited by John Lindley... Nature-printed by Henry Bradbury. London: Bradbury & Evans, 1855[-1856].
2° (547 x 365mm). Half-title. 51 nature-printed plates, all printed in colours, by Bradbury & Evans under the direction of Henry Bradbury. (First four and last two plates lightly spotted or stained.) Contemporary green half morocco gilt, gilt edges (extremities scuffed, spine chipped at head and foot).
FIRST EDITION OF BRADBURY'S CHEF D'OEUVRE AND A FINE EXAMPLE OF NATURE PRINTING. Henry Bradbury (1831-1860), eldest son of William Bradbury of Bradbury & Evans, published the present work in 17 monthly parts between June 1855 and September 1856. With text by Thomas Moore (curator of the Chelsea botanic garden and co-editor of Gardener's Chronicle) and edited by John Lindley (1799-1865), the work was one of the first of the genre printed in Britain. Bradbury went on to publish an octavo edition of the present work and a four-volume work with nature-printed plates of sea-weeds. It is not known how the controversy surrounding nature printing affected Bradbury, but he committed suicide at the age of 29 by drinking acid. He left a number of unrealised projects, including two further nature-printed works on fungi and trees. Fischer 89; Nissen BBI 1400; Stafleu & Cowan 6275.
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